A woman waves goodbye on an AMTRAK train that was passing through Alton on Thursday.

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ALTON - A groundbreaking for the new Alton Regional Multimodal Transportation Center project is tentatively set for 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 21, at the Robert P. Wadlow Golf Course and after that, Alton Mayor Brant Walker says dirt will start being moved, 85 million tons of it.

“People will see a lot of dirt being moved and infrastructure and water and sewer lines put in place,” he said. “We are funding the work primarily through Federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grants, but also Madison County Transit, city and state funds. The funding is coming from multiple ways.” TIGER Discretionary Grants are awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Walker said the new train station project will be a tremendous boost to the Alton area and its economy. He said benefits are already being seen with the Hampton Inn Hotel construction off Homer Adams Parkway and the new Jimmy John’s location close to it. Walker said he expects much more growth to spill over once the train station project is one day finished.

The Alton City Council approved a contract amendment with Juneau Associates, Inc., that allows them to proceed with work associated with the project's design and construction.

The rough site grading and installation of some of the storm sewers is expected to be finished by the end of November if the weather cooperates.

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Considerable work in the Belle Manor area in Alton will be viewed in coming days by the Herman & Kittle Properties Company, Walker said.

“It will have a new conference center and also a place for kids to work on computers,” he said. “A playground and all the buildings will also be completely renovated, which will be huge.”

The recent Lynrd Skynrd concert at the Liberty Bank-Alton Amphitheater closed the concert season. Walker said he couldn’t be more pleased with how the concert season concluded and went overall this year.

“I think every major concert we had was sold out,” Walker said. “We are already looking forward to the next concert season and working on that.”

The addition of the Miles Davis Statue for Downtown Alton is also “huge for our city,” the mayor said.

The dedication is set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday with speakers, followed by the statue unveiling at 6 p.m. in Downtown Alton.

“Pat Ackmann and Karen Wilson and the entire committee that worked on the project did a phenomenal job,” Walker said.

'Tis the Season to Shop Small and Save! Shop Small Saturday, November 27th.