A 400-car parking garage is being built in Kissimmee to accommodate riders as the rail carrier expands.
A 400-car parking garage is being built in Kissimmee to accommodate riders as the rail carrier expands. (George Skene / Orlando Sentinel)

A four-story parking garage will soon start going up in Kissimmee, the first prep work for the planned expansion of SunRail.

The 163,683-square-foot garage will stand next to what will be a focal point in the SunRail Phase Two South project, and serve as the station's primary parking spot.

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The SunRail stop and parking garage would be downtown, adjacent to the Kissimmee Civic Center. The Florida Department of Transportation has earmarked $12 million for the garage.

FDOT is soliciting bids from contractors, with the selected project steward bringing on subcontractors and vendors for the open air concrete structure. The bid cutoff date is Aug. 7. Work is expected to begin in early October and end October 2016.

Todd Dunavant of TranSystems out of Jacksonville is the architect.

The scope of work includes site work, site demolition, utility relocation, reinforced concrete foundations, electrical and lighting systems, fire sprinklers, landscaping and irrigation, storm water management and connectivity to existing adjacent roadways, parking and walkways.

This includes an at-grade walkway to the SunRail platform that will be under construction during the same time as the garage. The project also includes elevators, standing seam metal roofing, painted and brick clad precast wall panels, waterproofing, interior partitions, insulation, storefront, doors and hardware along with structural steel systems.

The parking garage comes after SunRail, in May, was told it would receive a $93 million grant from the federal government to expand the commuter train system 17 miles south into Osceola County. The grant agreement is expected to be signed in September.

The grant will cover half the cost of the expansion, with the rest coming from the state, Osceola and Orange counties. Four stops will be added, including Kissimmee.

SunRail, which opened May 1, 2014, already runs 32 miles and has 12 stations along the former CSX rail line connecting Volusia, Seminole and Orange counties through downtown Orlando.

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