Williston Amtrak Restoration Project - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Williston Amtrak Restoration Project

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Main Street construction work began in Williston Wednesday.

Phase one of the work downtown will include replacement of storm drains, sewer, water, sidewalks, landscaping and signal lights.

But at the south end of Main Street, a different kind of work is taking place.

Jennifer Kleen tells us about the restoration of a century old building that's seeing more activity now than ever before.

It's a busy time at the Williston Amtrak Depot, the busiest train station in the state.

Built by the Great Northern Railroad in 1910, it was time for a trained eye on a near-half-million dollar restoration project.

(Ron Salazar, Eagle Rock Timber) "The restoration work just takes a different mindset. It's to match up and meet expectations of the architect and the historical societies. In new construction, we're dealing with architects that want to see something in the air now. So it takes a little more careful planning in these types of projects. We're happy to do it."

Project manager Ron Salazar says the depot has weathered 104 years of North Dakota winter quite well.

(Ron Salazar, Eagle Rock Timber) "The snow that lays up against the brick, it eventually erodes on the mortar. So that's been our biggest job."

Repointing involves grounding out the old mortar, washing the brick, matching and replacing the mortar with equipment -- somewhat similar to cake decorating.

(Ron Salazar, Eagle Rock Timber) "It should look like what it looked like when it was built."

Phase 1 of depot restoration includes repointing the area above the stone name cap and roofing, which will be complete in about three weeks.

With nine people on site, there are more than 12-hundred labor hours in to the building.

(Ron Salazar, Eagle Rock Timber) "We're in North Dakota as a general contractor and this is a show piece. We as Eagle Rock Timber, are very excited to be a part of it."

More than 51,000 people moved across this platform last year, and Williston Amtrak is one of the only stations in the country that also sells bus tickets.

Amtrak is using today's activity to preserve a century old vision so it can continue to stand the test of time.

In Williston, Jennifer Kleen KX News.

Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari says phase two, restoring the lower half of the building, is in the early stages and has not yet gone to bid.


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