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Picayune Amtrak station will be under construction to become more accessible

Amtrak is set to begin construction on a $4 million project to make the Picayune station more accessible for passengers with disabilities to bring them in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The largest single item in the project will be a new approximately 400-foot long boarding platform to make the platform accessible to customers with disabilities, said Amtrak public relations manager Marc Magliari. The project is funded with federal money set aside for accessibility projects.

“Boarding platforms of all different shapes and sizes are on our routes, and we’re working to make all of them compliant with the ADA, which benefits everyone,” said Magliari.

The project will also rebuild the walkway from the parking lot to the platform to include ramps and handrails and it will add new lighting, improve drainage and add warning strips. The existing platform sign will be moved. A lift enclosure will be added next to the platform, so that it is possible for someone with a mobility device to be lifted into the train. The lift enclosure will be sheltered and secured with a lock, so only Amtrak personnel can access it with a key.

The existing bricks and benches will be salvaged.

Construction is expected to last several months and will not affect the train schedule.

“We ask customers to be patient while work is going on, but it will be very much worth any temporary inconvenience,” said Magliari.

The community is responsible for maintenance of stations, said Magliari, but Amtrak will work with the community on things like keeping the platform swept.