Capital Metro unveils preliminary designs for new downtown Austin MetroRail station

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Design work is slated to be finished in April 2018, but preliminary designs of the permanent downtown MetroRail station show a new covered platform. (Courtesy: Capital Metro/Community Impact)

%INLINE%Capital Metro unveiled preliminary designs for its new permanent downtown Austin MetroRail station Feb. 19.

The new station will replace the temporary one built adjacent to the Austin Convention Center when the commuter rail line launched in 2010. Early designs indicate the new station will have a covered platform with canopies and an information booth. The skybridge shown in the rendering that connects the Hilton Austin hotel with the convention center is already under construction.

Residents can learn more about the project Wednesday, Feb. 21 at an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center, Ballroom B. The event is come and go, and information will be provided on construction activities on Fourth Street, the Lance Armstrong Bikeway and the downtown station.

Design is about 90 percent complete and will be finished in April. Then the transit agency will begin the permitting process with the city of Austin.

After permitting is complete, bidding and constructing the station will take about 34 months. Depending on how long it takes to permit the project, the station could open as early as late 2021.

The project will shift the location of the existing station farther east between the Hilton and convention center, allowing for a public plaza near Trinity Street and adjacent to Brush Square Park. Neches Street is also proposed to be closed off to through traffic and will end in a cul-de-sac at the Hilton.

Most of the cost to build the station will be covered by a $22 million grant from the Texas Department of Transportation, awarded in 2014.

Remaining funds from the $50 million total grant went toward the purchase of four new trains—each consisting of two cars—that Capital Metro put into service to increase capacity in January.

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From FOX 7's reporting partner Community Impact