“Environmental sustainability,” “beneficial economic impact,” and “interagency cooperation” were phrases used this spring at a transit groundbreaking ceremony located at an old landfill. What do transit and landfills have in common? More than one might think.
Intercity Transit is completing a park and ride facility atop an 8-acre portion of a former landfill in Thurston County, Wash. The project gives a second life to unproductive public land and provides a much needed park and ride facility adjacent to Interstate 5, one of the most congested travel corridors in the state.
Pursuing the agency’s vision to be an innovative leader in providing mobility, sustainability, and community prosperity, Intercity Transit’s leadership embraced the idea in 2008 and commissioned a feasibility study. The study’s findings were used to successfully secure significant state of Washington Regional Mobility funds for the project and preliminary work began in 2009.
“The landfill is perfectly located for a park and ride facility and by using it in this way, valuable land is preserved for residential and commercial development,” states Mike Harbour, Intercity Transit General Manager.
But taking on redevelopment of a closed landfill comes at a price: greater project cost and complexity and the need for specialized design, engineering, and construction. Phase 1 of the project required temporary modifications to the site’s gas collection system and a preload of 148,000 tons of fill dirt to compact the subsurface refuse.
Over the next year, maximum compaction levels were reached and the next phase involved removal of excess fill, installation of a new landfill liner and structural support layers, plus permanent modifications to the gas collection system. The project is currently beginning its final stage with grading, paving, lighting and landscaping.
The site development, planning, and construction management is being coordinated by KPFF Consulting Engineers. The phase 1 “preload” was done by Tucci and Sons and the current construction phase is being completed by Scarsella Brothers. All firms involved in this project are local, adding additional economic benefit to the community.
Lots of Stalls, No Delays
The Hawks Prairie Park and Ride, on track to open later this fall, will have 334 parking stalls, a transit island, five electric vehicle charging stations, and 24/7 security video surveillance. It will support transit, carpool and vanpool activity and be the largest park and ride lot in Thurston County.
Interagency cooperation has been key to moving this innovative project from vision to reality. It involves two local jurisdictions—Thurston County and the city of Lacey—with additional oversight by two state agencies the Washington State Departments of Transportation and Ecology. The neighboring Meridian Campus Commercial Owners Association also supports the project.
Most of the $8.2 million project is paid for through Washington State Department of Transportation Regional Mobility Grant funds of $6.66 million. Intercity Transit is investing $600,000 plus the value of the property as the local match. Project partner Thurston County leases the land to Intercity Transit for just $1 per year.
In an opinion proffered by The Olympian, the region’s daily newspaper, the project is “taking a nonproductive piece of county property and turning it into a great community asset.”
Adding public value and interest to the project is a new dog park adjacent to the park and ride facility. Informally called the “Park and Bark,” citizens appear to be embracing this new development –a unique, multi-use open space in a region with growing residential, commercial, and commuter populations.
Intercity Transit was awarded Gold level ranking for its Sustainability Commitment by APTA earlier this year. For more information about this project contact Marilyn Hemmann at firstname.lastname@example.org, 360.705.5833 or visit http://www.intercitytransit.com/newsandinfo/projects/Pages/HawksPrairieParkandRide.aspx