Baltimore’s Aging Bus Yard will Get $53M Overhaul

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on July 23 that $787 million has been awarded by the federal Department of Transportation as part of its annual State of Good Repair and Bus Livability program to help repair and modernize the nation’s aging transit infrastructure. The money will fund 255 projects [...]

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on July 23 that $787 million has been awarded by the federal Department of Transportation as part of its annual State of Good Repair and Bus Livability program to help repair and modernize the nation’s aging transit infrastructure. The money will fund 255 projects selected from 836 applications.

The city of Baltimore will receive $40 million to replace the old Kirk Division Bus Facility with a new two-building green complex. The grant received by the Maryland Department of Transportation is the second largest awarded by the Transportation Department. New Jersey Transit was awarded a $76 million grant.

The old Kirk Division Bus Facility on the 2300 block of Kirk Avenue in East Baltimore was constructed in 1947 and in its 65 years has never been renovated. It houses 351 employees and stores, and it operates and maintains 175 buses serving 16 routes in Baltimore and Baltimore County.

The Maryland Transit Administration will use the $40 million grant together with $13 million provided by the state for the first phase of the project. It involves the construction of a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient building to house maintenance operations for the Kirk Bus Division. The new 100,000-square-foot maintenance yard will be completely enclosed. It will be located on the site of the Reese Press building, directly across from the existing Kirk Division. On-site parking will also be provided to help bring down the number of cars parked on the street. Noise from the buses will be reduced and air quality will be improved. In the second phase, the present outdoor bus yard will be converted into inside bus storage and administrative offices.

The project will create 700 construction jobs. Construction will begin in late spring 2013. The state expects to have the new facility open in the fall of 2014.

The state of Maryland received five grants on July 23, totaling $45 million. In addition to the $40 million for the new bus depot, Baltimore was also awarded $1.65 million to to make safety and accessibility improvements to South Baltimore’s Cherry Hill Transit Hub, a hub that connects bus and light rail service. Other improvements also include an expanded bus waiting area, a park and ride lot, and a well-lit and upgraded station plaza.

Rendering courtesy of http://mta.maryland.gov.