Development will boost public transportation
BDT Editorial, October 15, 2017
With federal funding now in place, and local matching funds coming from the Shott Foundation, work is expected to begin soon on a $1 million state-of-the-art public transportation transfer facility in Bluefield. It’s a welcomed project that should help in meeting the region’s public transportation needs.
The transfer center, which is planned near the Wade Center on Bluefield Avenue, will serve as a central location for the Bluefield Area Transit, the Graham Transit and the Greyhound system. The transfer station project was inspired by the former Colonial Intermodal Center vision for Bluefield, according to City Manager Dane Rideout.
“Not as grand a scale, but it will meet all the same intents,” Rideout said, adding that the project would serve as a location where passengers and drivers could stop and use the facilities.
“A place where people could change over bus systems, get out of the elements, have bathrooms, a clean, safe, well-lit environment,” Rideout said in describing the project. “We wanted a place that was heated and had good lighting. We went after a grant, the federal government loves it. We are going to build a new state-of-the-art transfer facility for public transportation on the avenue. And the awesome thing about it is, as we received grant monies, we’re going to build a million-dollar facility and it’s going to cost the taxpayers little to nothing.”
According to Rideout, the new facility will be approximately 30 feet wide and 60 feet long, and will be located on a 175-foot by 150-foot lot owned by the city of Bluefield. It will be constructed with a pre-engineered steel building frame, standing seam metal roof panels, and metal panel, masonry, and glass exterior storefront curtain walls placed on a concrete slab-on-grade foundation.
The former Colonial Intermodal Center project, proposed by a previous board seven years ago, also would have served as a transfer station site for public transportation, but also proposed the development of related pods or sites for potential businesses.
Former Congressman Nick Rahall secured $600,000 in federal funds for preliminary design work for that project.
But the price tag of the Colonial Intermodal Center exceeded $10 million, and city officials were never able to secure all of the remaining funding necessary for the project, which was later discontinued.
The new project is smaller in scale, but certainly needed. It will also help in accommodating future growth for the Bluefield Area Transit, along with the Greyhound and Graham Transit systems.
The transfer center also will be beneficial in getting passengers out of the elements, particularly during periods of inclement weather such as snow and rain, and inside a warm and secure facility.
We welcome this needed project, and eagerly anticipate the start of construction.
CART: ingenuity to industry
©2018 CART, Inc., All rights reserved.