Washington council approves $3.38 million transit hub

July 11, 2013
This artist’s rendering shows Washington’s intermodal transit center that will be built on the site of the former East Chestnut Street garage. - Photo courtesy of LCM Architects

Washington City Council approved $3.38 million in construction bids to build a transit hub that officials hope will bolster regional bus ridership and attract new transportation opportunities.

The intermodal transit center, which has been in the planning stages for more than four years, will be built on the site of the former East Chestnut Street parking garage and is expected to open next May.

The facility will be a hub for Washington County transit buses to take riders into Pittsburgh or other routes around the area. It also will offer parking near the business district and include a city police substation.

“It’s going to be a fantastic facility,” Councilman Joe Manning said.

The city originally hoped to rehabilitate the parking garage after it had deteriorated, but instead demolished it last year after it had fallen into disrepair.

The council approved four bids at its Thursday night voting meeting and expects to break ground on the project in August. The construction bids include $2.635 million to Waller Corp. of Washington as the general contractor; $154,400 to Wheels Mechanical Contracting of Pittsburgh for plumbing services; $343,900 to Allegheny City Electric, Inc., for electrical services; and $245,000 to Controlled Climate Systems of Canonsburg for HVAC work.

Last August, the city received a $625,000 federal grant for construction costs and it has been holding on to $889,000 that came from the economic stimulus program in 2009.

“We’re one step closer to our intermodal facility and it’s nice to be on that path,” Councilman Ken Westcott said.

Councilman Matt Staniszewski, who voted against the project in its early stages in 2010 out of worries it would become only a parking lot, said he thinks the transit facility will offer many more amenities for the city.

“Hopefully, in the future, I would like to see a Greyhound bus station go there,” Staniszewski said. “This could be the start of something much more, such as that.”

The awarding of the bids coincided with the announcement that Nancy Basile, the city’s transit director, was stepping down. The council unanimously accepted her resignation and lavished praise for her work with the agency over the past six years.

“We’re getting the rewards from her endeavors,” Councilman Terry Faust said.

The council agreed to advertise to solicit applications for a new city transit director to replace Basile.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and Patch.com. He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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