Eventually the SMART train is expected to extend service to Windsor and Healdsburg, but still undecided is the exact location of a station in Healdsburg.
City leaders, SMART officials, and members of the public all chimed in on the possibility of moving the location of Healdsburg’s future SMART stop.
Right now, it's supposed to be the rail yard depot on the city’s south side.
Healdsburg’s Vice Mayor David Hagele gave his assessment.
"At the end of the day it, it kind of come downs to the three "C's" which is cost, convenience, and connectivity," Hagele said.
Two alternative locations under consideration would put the SMART station near the current site of the Healdsburg Farmers Market. So just south of or just north of North Street - two to three blocks from the Healdsburg Plaza.
The long-tapped depot site is about a third of a mile walk from the downtown plaza.
Financing the project is still the big hurdle says Joanne Parker, SMART’s grant manager.
"The cost per mile is roughly 20 million a mile, we built the system for 12 million a mile including cars and the shop," Parker said. "It's the cheapest investment you can make per mile."
While SMART officials say they’ve got funding in the past year, the estimated price tag for an extension of the rail line from Windsor to Healdsburg is over a 160 million. Only about half is currently available; though much of the funding will come from federal and state sources.
Lots of work will need to be done beyond installing new rail tracks. A new pedestrian pathway will need to be built. So too a new bridge over the Russian River, said SMART's chief engineer, Bill Gamlen.
"The bridge that's there is pretty much at the end of it's useful life," Gamlen said. "Some of the piles that support that bridge are actually old redwood trees from the late 1800's so we're pretty convinced that that bridge needs to be reconstructed."
The next step for the Healdsburg SMART station is a community workshop in the coming months.