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Niagara Falls lawmakers OK $380,000 in increased costs for train station project

NIAGARA FALLS – City lawmakers on Monday approved $380,000 in increased costs for the train station construction project in the North End, bringing the total amount of approved change orders to about $1 million.

The work in the latest change order includes the installation of new light poles with LED lights for the station’s parking lot, as well as funding for a worker to coordinate trains passing through the site during construction activity.

Purchasing the lighting equipment is cheaper than leasing it from National Grid, which had previously been planned, Mayor Paul A. Dyster said.

The additional funding for the worker – what’s referred to in the Council resolution as “railroad protection” – had been anticipated, Dyster said.

Both additional costs total about $360,000 in the change order, though their individual costs were not listed in the measure from the Dyster administration to the City Council, which approved it by a 4-1 vote.

The other approximately $20,000 in increased costs for the Niagara Falls International Railway Station and Intermodal Transportation Center project involve fixing seating and a “non-uniform surface” at the Customs House on Whirlpool Street, which is being renovated into an Underground Railroad interpretive center.

Funding to cover the increases will come from the city’s contingency fund for the project. With the additional costs, the total construction contract is about $23.7 million.

This is the fourth change order approved so far in the $26 million project. Prior to Tuesday’s vote, change orders totaling about $622,000 had been approved by lawmakers, according to the resolution.

The original construction contract with Scrufari Construction was about $22.7 million.

The Council also unanimously approved transferring $13,000 for the removal of wooden utility poles and power lines at the site.

Dyster said the city has several contingency lines in the budget for the project, with about 87 percent of all costs being covered by the state and federal governments.

Councilman Glenn A. Choolokian voted against approving the change order.