[IMAGE]Merlo-new-LIFT-building-0211-2.jpg[/IMAGE] On Wednesday, TriMet and other key partners celebrated the new LIFT operations building in Beaverton with a ribbon cutting and open house. The new building serves as the permanent Westside operations facility for TriMet’s door-to-door LIFT service for seniors and people with disabilities.
The $10.6 million project was the agency's largest stimulus project, and included construction of a new Fuel and Wash facility at the Merlo Bus Yard adjacent to the LIFT building. LIFT had been leasing space nearby, but the owner wanted to use the space.
"This stimulus project represents a win-win-win for TriMet," said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane. "We replaced outdated facilities, we built a sustainable and permanent home for our LIFT operations and we put people to work."
Beaverton-based Skanska served as general contractor, utilizing 45 subcontractors and suppliers for the project, employing more than 275 people and retaining about 30 jobs.
Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle said, “This project was important because of the jobs, but it also included numerous sustainable construction elements including 96 solar panels, high efficiency utilities and the design made best use of this site for capturing daylight."
About 120 operators are dispatched from the Westside LIFT facility and provide 265,000 door-to-door trips annually for those unable to ride regular fixed-route service. The adjacent Fuel and Wash facility cleans and fuels 111 buses each day.
TriMet was awarded $53.7 million in federal stimulus funds to be used to fix failing infrastructure, make the transit system more robust and put Oregonians to work. It’s estimated that federal stimulus dollars funded approximately 181,895 job hours with a payroll of $9.85 million as of January 31, 2011.