DTA Showing off Plans for New Transportation Center
Posted at: 09/11/2012 11:02 PM
By: Dayna Landgrebe
The preliminary plans are done, and Duluth's Transit Authority is showing off it's latest project--the downtown Multimodal Transportation Center.
On Tuesday, the DTA presented design scales for the $28.9 million project, which are about 30 percent complete. Jim Heilig, Director of Administration for the DTA, said the next scales to be shown off will be the final ones.
The new center is going to be a headquarters for passengers on the DTA, helping to ease sidewalk congestion, pedestrian and bus passenger safety issues. The brand new building also comes with some big upgrades.
"They're going to be able to do the exchanges they do outside in the cold where it's warm, in a safe secure area. and it's an area that will be theirs," said . "I think there's a lot of ownership in the DTA by the citizens and especially by the riders. And here's a place where we can recognize that, and they can, too."
Heilig said some esthetic changes have been made between proposals, bringing the project from a more modern design to one that has a more historic feel. Heilig said the building features a brick facade and windows sized on a more human scale. Heilig said the difference makes the building more feasible for Duluth's cityscape.
And beyond its looks, Heilig said the center is focused on better efficiency. Traffic control signals will be changing at 3rd and 2nd Avenues West and Superior Street. A brand new signal will be installed at 3rd Avenue West and Michigan Street. With those changes, Heilig said a new traffic light technology system will make sure emergency vehicles can pass through quickly, and coordinate green lights on a timed schedule for bus departures.
Money from the state and federal government are paying for the project along with contributions by the DTA itself and a private investor. Heilig said about $12 million is tied up in construction of the Multimodal Center itself. Another $8-9 million are being used for changes to the Skywalk and the rest is being used for revamped parking structures.
Heilig said the entire project should be finished by late 2013 or early 2014.