St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on February 27, 1992 · Page 5
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 5

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St. Louis, Missouri
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Thursday, February 27, 1992
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Page 5
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FEB 27 OH ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 1992 Train Panel Approves Fee Raises THE By Mark Schlinkmann Regional Political Correspondent Additional payments to three engineering firms of more than $3.6 million for work on the Metro Link rail line were endorsed Wednesday by a Bi-State Development Agency committee. t Bi-State officials said the amount the largest single payment is about $2.7 million to Sverdrup Corp. will not add to the overall $330 million cost of building Metro Link. The amount will come out of a contingency fund that set aside $18 million when the program began for unanticipated design and construction costs. Other change orders had been approved earlier. If ratified by the full Bi-State board, the plan will drop the amount remain ing in the fund to about $11 million, Other pending change order requests total $6 million to $7 million. The chairman of the Metro Link committee, Thomas Purcell, said he and other members soon will meet with Sverdrup to discuss whether any other major new costs could develop. "We're getting down to the nut," Purcell said. "There are no other construction dollars. We don't want to go beyond what we have. We want to make sure . . . that there is no misunderstanding on anybody's part" No one Wednesday voted against the expenditures, which also include $781,352 for Kuhlmann Design Group and $1 17,207 for Kennedy Associates. But one memberj Richard Conerly of Webster Groves,' abstained, saying he had "some discomfort" with the request. Conerly also sought to delay approval until after the meeting with Sverdrup officials. Metro Link General Manager Stephen Willis said he expects that all of the contingency fund will end up be ing used. "I think we're going to make it but it's going to come real close," Willis said. 1 Actually, Bi-State doesn't yet have all the federal money it is expecting. About $42 million still must be appropriated by Congress. The extra amount for Sverdrup is on top of its basic $10.1 million contract to manage the project. The two other firms involved in Wednesday's action had received some other extra payments before. Kuhlmann Design had already gotten $1.9 million on top of its original $2.3 million contract, while Kennedy Associates got $404,000 in addition to its $1.3 million contract. The new amounts Wednesday cover work such as a collapsed Mill Creek sewer, a new downtown traffic plan, hazardous waste removal, extra land acquisition costs and changes in downtown stations requested by city officials and St. Louis Centre. Included was a shift of station entrances into the Dillard's store to 6th Street and Washington Avenue from the original site at 7th and Washington; a shift of the station entrance at 8th and Pine streets from the sidewalk along Pine to the inside of the Laclede Gas building; and a redesign of the station entrance at St. Louis Centre to outside the mall from inside. Train From page one students," he said. Amtrak officials say cutting the St. Louis link will save $1.4 million in annual operating costs and could help reduce federal subsidies to Amtrak by about $800,000 a year. The train used one locomotive with a four-person crew and just one passenger car, said Richard A. Eichhorst, president of the American Association of Railroaders Inc. in St. Louis. Amtrak officials said just 23,000 passengers used the link between St. Louis and Carbondale last year an average of about 23 passengers per trip. A spokesman for Amtrak described that ridership as "very disappointing. On these routes it comes down to a simple principle: 'Use it or lose it.' " The St. Louis-Carbondale route Is an extension of the "River Cities" rail line that operates regularly between St Louis and Kansas City. That service, which is subsidized by the state of Missouri, would not be threatened by the new Amtrak plan. Carbondale is the Southern Illinois link to the Chicago-to-New Orleans rail route, which also would continue under the new plan, Eichhorst said he believed rider-ship between Carbondale and St Louis decreased because the tracks gradually have been reduced from two lines to one. Passing trains must use cutouts to past one another. The shorter passenger trains must wait for freight trains to go by, so the trips were slow. One rider complained that the train from St. Louis to Carbondale didn't arrive until 12:30 a.m., making it inconvenient Amtrak's board is expected to make the final decision on canceling the route by May 27. The public is invited to make comments to Amtrak about the proposed route change between March 1 and April 30. Simon said he would write Amtrak. "I fought hard to get this rail service between St. Louis and Carbondale, and I intend to fight equally as hard to preserve it," he said. "Amtrak service is Carbondale's lone public transit outlet to St. Louis." , Poshard said Carbondale needed the access to St. Louis. "But if Amtrak is in fact losing money, as it suggests," he said, "then it is hard to support continued taxpayer subsidies at a time -when the budget is floating, in red ink." ft AUTHORITY o jo) IS 7 196 A ML" T.ith 'three air XA-VT air inn-nun - lir han(. cumbers. XkVM i ine nexi Be""1""" 196 WILSON OPTIMA GOLD BASEBALL GLOVE 14" angle weave web, flexible power and snap back. iHiiuiHiuiiur Official Glove WILSON FIRST BASE MITT Anchored "T" open web with closed pro back. 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