Transport hub work remains on schedule

Published 5:00 am Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday’s heavy rain was no setback for workers at themulti-modal building, their project superintendent said, as theconstruction of the decade-long dream continues on schedule.

The Multi-Modal Transportation Facility is being put in wherethe old power plant has long lain dormant, under the smokestack onRailroad Avenue. It is now being made over again, this time tobecome the culmination of a project the city has worked toward fornine years.

Construction started July 15, and as the progress has continued,there have been discoveries and obstacles. Nothing the crewcouldn’t handle, though, said Paul Jackson Project SuperintendentJamie Harvey.

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“There were a lot of underground sewer pipes and water drainsand buried concrete that caused us some problems,” Harvey said.”But we got it under control.”

While the underground infrastructure and debris caused someminor site drainage problems, it didn’t hold up the forward motionof the project, Harvey said.

Luckily, Brookhaven received only a fraction of the rain thatother parts of the state have been getting, which was a positivefor Harvey’s crew as well.

“The rain really didn’t affect us,” he said, adding that itbriefly held up the waterproofing of the outside brick.

Harvey said within the next week, the new slab will be poured.Once that is done, the work goes a lot faster.

“The following week we’ll start the block work,” he said.

And after that begins the interior work, and by the projecteddate of April of next year, the transportation hub should becomplete.

During the construction, there have been some interestingdiscoveries in addition to what lies underneath the ground.

Two plaques detailing the construction of the old power plantwere discovered in almost perfect condition behind a brick wallthat protected them over the years. City officials said when theplaque is made for the multi-modal facility, it will match theolder ones and they will be placed together.

The project, for many years, appeared to be somewhatsnakebitten, but now it seems to be on track to be an improvedtrain station for the city. Currently, customers waiting on theAmtrak passenger train have a small plexiglass building to shelterthem from the elements while they wait for the train.

In addition, officials have said Railroad Avenue will be cut offat the facility once it is built. The land to the south of thebuilding will be used as a parking lot, and a walkway will leadfrom the building to the boarding area, Harvey said.

A 100-foot canopy will be erected for cover on the walk to thetrain. Canopies will also be built on the front and the back of thebuilding.

“We’re pretty fair on schedule,” Harvey said.