The Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Centre Area Transportation Authority land development plan for the new main office and maintenance facility Monday.
Along with the plan, the board also approved a memorandum of conditions for approval outlined by the director of planning and zoning. According to the meeting agenda, the township Planning Commission was unable to vote on the plan as a quorum was not available for its meeting July 28.
The plan would have otherwise been presented to the board without the commission’s comments.
Mark Torretti, of PennTerra Engineering, and Ed Roethlein, of CDM Smith Inc. architecture, presented a plan of the proposed facility along with a breakdown of the three stages of work that will occur.
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Administrative work at the facility ceased July 25. All administrative workers have since moved their operations to the CATA’s office at 108 E. Beaver Ave.
“The existing administration offices will be demolished in the beginning,” Torretti said. “But operations will continue as normal.”
The project is expected to begin in late September or early October, he said.
In the first stage, he said, a four-level parking garage will be constructed facing Research Drive. It will provide about150 spaces for employees. The bottom level of the building will house the operations offices for the drivers.
Once the structure is completed, construction will begin on a new facility that will house the administration and maintenance offices as well as the fueling and washing facility for the buses, Torretti said.
This new building will occupy the existing employee parking lot. Once this second phase is finished, administrative offices will occupy the top two or three floors with maintenance on the bottom. he said.
A bridge will connect the upper levels of the parking garage to the administrative offices, according to Roethlein.
The fuel compressors on the northeast section of the property will remain untouched, he said. Buses will come into the facility off Research Drive and follow the northern perimeter of the property to the refueling and washing stations. The fueling stations in the existing maintenance building will be removed.
In the third phase, he said, the maintenance building will be expanded outward, creating more bus storage area. Buses will enter the building through newly constructed garage doors facing West Whitehall Road and will exit the other side. This is expected to keep the flow of buses running smoothly in a clockwise direction through the facility.
The purpose of splitting construction into separate phases was so CATA could keep operating buses as normal during the project, Toretti said. Trailers will be provided to maintenance personnel so they can still have offices on-site during the construction.
The project is expected to be completed by 2017 or 2018, he said.