Ann Arbor transit center to be reconstructed

The Ann Arbor Transit Authority is currently seeking companies that are interested in building a new Blake Transit Center located at 331 S. Fourth Ave. in downtown Ann Arbor. As part of the search, local businesses were invited to attend the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s Business Opportunity Fair on Wednesday, June 13 at the Ann Arbor Public Library. Invitations were sent to companies and contractors certified as Small Business Enterprises, Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, Minority Business Enterprises and prime contractors.

Phil Webb, AATA’s chief accountant, said, “Local businesses would be given first opportunity to try to secure a deal” and “federal and state grant funds will be used to finance the job.”

The reconstruction overview gave a description of the work which includes a two-story structure with a basement, with provisions for future third and fourth floors; it will be 10,783 square feet upon completion.

With upwards of 4,000 people traveling through the building every day, the need for low maintenance and durability was stressed in the project description. Heated sidewalks and driveways are other new features that will be added.

There were a variety of different trades represented at the Business Opportunity Fair, but most companies in attendance were construction-related.

Ross Newman, an employee of Creative Windows, a window installation company with a 30-year history, attended the fair.

“I haven’t seen the specs yet, but the Blake Transit Center is a landmark in the city, and it would be a great job to get,” Newman said.

He also said that windows could go a long way towards the building being energy efficient: A priority that was stressed in the overview presentation.

In a recent release, the AATA said the first quarter of 2012 was record breaking with over 1.7 million trips taken. The need for public transportation appears to be growing in Washtenaw County, and the rebuilding and modifications of the Blake Transit Center seems to come at an appropriate time.

The fair ended with a brief tour of the site where construction will take place. There is no date set as to when rebuilding will begin, but according to Webb, “We hope to be locking on deals at the end of September.”


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