Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Transit hub project moving forward

Design team reports to Ketchum City Council


By ERIC AVISSAR
Express Staff Writer

    Members of the Mountain Rides board and the design team of a proposed new transportation hub in downtown Ketchum told the City Council Monday that they are making progress on the estimated $437,000 project.
    Kurt Eggers, who runs the architectural landscape firm Eggers Associates, has been appointed as the project manager.
    “We believe this project will add real value to the town,” Eggers said. “I see this as an extension of the Town Square project, and we will be using a very similar team for this one, too.”
    The hub is planned for the intersection of Sun Valley Road and East Avenue. A conceptual design provides for parking for up to five buses, sidewalk extensions at all four corners of the intersection to facilitate pedestrian traffic and islands in the middle of East Avenue on both sides of the intersection for bike parking or public art. The design also considers possible passenger shelter buildings at the Sun Valley Visitor Center and the bus stop in front of The Elephant’s Perch outdoor sports store.
    Mountain Rides Executive Director Jason Miller also said he is very excited for the project.
    “This is where the fun begins,” Miller said. “We’re excited for the design, and we want this project to make Mountain Rides a more attractive option and become more efficient to attract more visitors.”
    Mayor Randy Hall said he is not concerned about the potential loss of parking spots.
    “The more efficient this system is, the more parking spots will be freed up as a result,” Hall said.
    A request for proposals, referred to as an RFP, states that the hub must be designed in a way to make it a “positive addition to the downtown landscape” and must “integrate public art into the project design and development.”
    Final design is expected to be completed by April 2014, when Mountain Rides will solicit construction contractor bids.
    The Ketchum URA has committed a total of $100,000 to the project. Mountain Rides has committed $337,000, with $312,000 coming from federal money and $25,000 coming from the Mountain Rides capital fund.
Eggers has not set a date to begin construction but said he hopes to begin work in the spring.
Eggers said he plans to meet again with the city and Mountain Rides in December.
Eric Avissar: eavissar@mtexpress.com




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