Trailer to be ‘Temporary’ Jefferson City Station

A trailer is being readied in Jefferson City, Missouri, to serve as a temporary Amtrak station.

The existing station inside the Union Hotel was closed two months ago after a structural inspection of the site found it to be unsafe.

The hotel was built in 1855 and is part of the Jefferson Landing State Historic Site that also houses the Elizabeth Rozier Gallery.

Officials say the temporary station is expected to open within two to three weeks

The trailer is being provided by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and will be situated in parking lot No. 3 adjacent to the Lohman Building at the Jefferson City landing.

The trailer are on site and workers from the Jefferson City Street Division are connecting utilities for restrooms and constructing a handicap-accessible ramp for the entrance.

Tiffany Patterson, director of the Missouri State Museum and Jefferson Landing State Historic Site, said her agency will conduct short-term study on what could be done to shore up the building.

The primary short-term concern is the north wall of the hotel, which faces the railroad tracks, where a bulge has developed.

“We completed some selective demolition in the hotel on the interior finish, looking at masonry of the interior wall so the engineer can better look at it,” Patterson said. “He should be back to do his inspection at the end of week, and we’re not sure how long before his final report is done, but we can’t make plans to move forward until that report is done.”

In the meantime, Amtrak passengers have been waiting beneath tents and forced to use portable restrooms. Seating is a handful of lawn chairs, office chairs and a bench

Officials said the last major masonry repair at the hotel was done in the early 1970s, although the roof was replaced in 2017.

Missouri State Parks leases the hotel property from from the Office of Administration of the DNR. The parks agency is responsible for maintaining the property.

Jefferson City is the fourth busiest Amtrak station in Missouri, trailing Kansas City, St. Louis and Kirkwood.

The Missouri Department of Transportation issued a state rail plan in 2012 that called for construction of a new Amtrak station.

The cost of that facility was put at $11 million, but funding for the project has yet to be approved.

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