November 4, 2010

TriMet unveils ARRA-funded ‘green’ bus wash facility

On Wednesday, Portland, Ore.-based TriMet’s new bus fuel and wash facilities at the Merlo bus yard in Beaverton went into operation. The wash facility replaces one that had exceeded its life span, requiring repeated repairs over the years, while the fuel facility includes upgraded fuel storage tanks.

 

The new wash facility incorporates sustainability features, including reusing and recycling the water used to wash the buses, only using new water during the final rinse phase and operating high-efficiency lighting.

 

Other sustainability features of the overall project, include low VOC paints, adhesives and sealants, high-efficiency irrigation and 20KW solar panel with energy recovery.

 

The new fueling facility also includes four new 20,000 gallon underground storage tanks, each with double walls and a sensor system to detect leaks, which replaced two aging single-wall tanks.

 

The Merlo bus yard houses 130 buses, with 111 buses fueled and cleaned through the facility each day. The bus wash building was opened in 1980 and has been on the rebuild list for nearly a decade, but the project was delayed due to lack of funds.

 

The $10.9 million project, which also includes a new building for the agency's LIFT (paratransit service) administrative functions, was made possible by federal stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Skanska is the general contractor, overseeing 39 subcontractors that include 10 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms.

 

More than 115 construction workers will be employed over the course of the project and about 20 jobs were retained due to this project. As of Sept. 30, 2010, 39,459.62 job hours had occurred on this project with a payroll of $1.85 million. The LIFT administrative building is expected to open in January 2011.

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