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San Antonio: VIA Metro to Break Ground on Five Mobility Hubs Over the Next 14 Months

Feature Illustrations: (Above starting upper right, clockwise) The existing VIA Metro Randolph Park & Ride at night, and renderings of the planned Randolph Transit Center after reconstruction. Images by Fisher Heck Architects.

Posted: 10-7-2021

by Adolfo Pesquera

San Antonio (Bexar County)VIA Metropolitan Transit will be advertising for a contractor in November on the first of five mobility hubs that are expected to break ground over the course of the next fourteen months, and have a combined cost of more than $18.5 million.

The first project to roll out is the Naco Pass Mobility Hub, a $1.7 million project located at Naco Pass and Uhr Lane on the northeast side. The project involves converting an elbow turn into a roundabout, making it a more functional VIA Transfer Station.

The site work require the bus routes using that station to temporarily relocate. Construction documents are at 100% completion and VIA Metro anticipates construction will begin by late December or in January, depending on the contracting process. The construction duration will be from 70 to 80 days.

The Naco Pass Mobility Hub project, formerly referred to by VIA Metro as the Northeast Mobility Hub, was previously reported in VBX in a Sept. 11, 2020 article.

The largest of the five projects is the Randolph Transit Center Reconstruction, a $9.5 million development. Fisher Heck Architects has been preparing the designs and they should be at 90% completion this month, according to Sept. 28 report from Bianca Thorpe, VIA Metro’s manager of engineering.

The Randolph Park & Ride with temporary operations within red dash border. Circles represent planned sites for public art. Images below are concepts for butterfly themed metal screening.

“Right now, we are going through the process of picking our furniture and picking our finishes, those specific details as you get to the end of design,” Thorpe said.

The Randolph terminal, located east of the intersection of Interstate 30 North and Loop 410, will remain operational during construction. Accommodations will be made for patrons while the site is being reconfigured.

The construction contract is expected to be let out by January 2022 and the construction phase will take 270 to 280 days.

One interesting aspect of this project is a commitment to use the redesign to participate in the National Wildlife Federation Mayors’ Monarch Pledge. VIA Metro is incorporating the pledge into its Art In Transit component.

Fencing will be theme appropriate and the landscaping is being designed to create a habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators.

Located near the Kendall County line, on land that was acquired by the Alamo Colleges District, VIA Metro will be constructing its Interstate 10 Park & Pool. Alamo Colleges District came to an agreement with VIA Metro to have a Park & Pool facility in anticipation of the college district’s future plans to construct a new campus–the Northwest Educational Training Center (NWETC). (See VBX August 2019 article Alamo Colleges Preps Ground for Future Northwest Campus)

The site plan will provide a means for commuters from the Boerne and northwest Bexar County area that carpool or vanpool to park their cars. Thorpe said there are no current plans to provide bus service to the facility, but the layout will include the bus loop infrastructure that will be needed when the time comes. This includes a passenger platform where visitors can sit while they are awaiting their carpool or vanpool pick-up.

Referring to a red swatch on the college district’s map of the site, Thorpe said that would be the location of the Park & Pool lot.

“There is going to be, in the first cull-out, a grove of trees that we preserve, heritage trees to give a boulevard feel as you come into the site,” Thorpe said.

Upper left is map of the future Alamo Colleges Northwest Education Training Center, highlighting (red) location of the VIA Metro Park & Pool, with site plan blown up (lower right).

The I-10 Park & Pool has been estimated as a $2.6 million project. The design phase is nearly complete. Thorpe said a construct contract should be award by Spring 2022 and construction would take about 180 days.

For the next two project, land has not yet been acquired. On both, VIA Metro is in the process of conducting environmental site assessments. The VIA Board of Trustees is expected to receive a recommendations on land acquisition in December for the Eastside Mobility Hub and the Alamo Ranch Park & Ride.

  • Eastside Mobility Hub: The hub will be located along the East Houston Street corridor inside Loop 410. A $2.07 million project, this end-of-line with park-and-ride facility is still in the concept design phase. The final design phase–design development and construction documents–will occur from January-June 2022. Construction is to begin by the third quarter of 2022 and bus operations are to begin by the first quarter of 2023.
  • Alamo Ranch Park & Ride: Concept design is complete. VIA Metro was expecting to engage an architectural/engineering team in this quarter (4th Quarter 2021), and begin schematic designs in 1st Quarter 2022. Construction documents are to be completed on 2nd Quarter 2022, with a groundbreaking by 3rd Quarter 2022. This project has been valued at $2.65 million.

See VBX Project ID: 2020-68F8 for the Naco Pass Mobility Hub.

See VBX Project ID: 2021-7137 for Randolph Transit Center Reconstruction.

See VBX Project ID: 2021-713F for I-10 Park & Pool at the future Northwest Education Training Center.

See VBX Project ID: 2021-7144 for Eastside Mobility Hub.

See VBX Project ID: 2021-7146 for Alamo Ranch Park & Ride.


Related Images

Overall site plan of the proposed Randolph Transit Center.

Construction Preview
By |2021-10-07T16:07:37-05:00October 7th, 2021|Construction Preview, Feature Story|

About the Author:

Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.

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