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Alley to close for building of new transit system center

August 05, 2010

Wareham Place, the alley that runs behind the County Administration Building on West Washington Street, will be closed through December due to construction of the county's new public transit system transfer center, according to county officials.

Construction began July 26 on the transfer center project in the block bounded by North Prospect, West Franklin and Jonathan streets, and Wareham Place, county spokesman Norman Bassett said in a press release.

During construction, the only access to the two small parking lots directly behind the County Administration Building on West Washington Street serving the County Commissioners, staff, tenants and Sovereign Bank will be from Jonathan Street, the release said. Parking in the lots fronting Franklin Street is prohibited, except for approved area tenants, until the work is complete, the release said.

The federal stimulus-funded project will provide a new transfer point for County Commuter fixed-route buses, which is now beneath the railroad overpass on West Washington Street.

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The center will have a bus entry and turnaround off Franklin Street, a shelter with seating for riders and restroom facilities, Bassett said. The remainder of the property will be developed for at-grade parking, he said.

The project was designed for greater operational efficiency, improved driver and pedestrian safety, increased rider accessibility and convenience, increased passenger amenities and improved public image, and to allow future growth, Bassett said.

The contract for the project's construction was awarded June 8 to Callas Contractors of Hagerstown in the amount of $1.01 million.

An unrelated project that will affect the same area includes the demolition of an old parking garage on the alley, Wasington County Public Works Director Joe Kroboth said. The parking garage demolition is not part of the county project, but could add to congestion, Kroboth said.

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