Construction of a new CamTran operations center could be starting in a few weeks along Maple Avenue in the city’s Woodvale section.
Cambria County Transit Authority leaders are reviewing bids opened last week on the massive complex that includes administrative offices, indoor bus storage areas, a bus wash and maintenance facility.
The finance committee is reviewing the bids and contractors’ qualifications to report to the full board on March 22, Executive Director Rose Lucey-Noll said.
There is a lot to review.
The estimated $18 million project was divided into nine components for bidding purposes, Noll said. Companies bid on site preparation, general trades work, precast concrete, glass, elevator, plumbing, electrical, fire protection and heating/ventilation/air conditioning.
A total of 30 bid packets are being considered.
“There was a lot of interest,” Noll said. “There was a lot of local interest. We are seeing that as we go through the packets and make sure all the requirements are included.”
Designing the project was a bit of a challenge because the former FreightCar America parking lot was originally part of Bethlehem Steel’s operations. The property was donated by a subsidiary of Smith Industries, a metal-recycling company that last year opened a Johnstown facility on an adjacent tract.
“It is basically a brownfield site that we are dealing with,” said Joel Trexler of JPT Architects in Johnstown.
“We have to keep all of the construction material on the site. Nothing can be hauled.”
When the job is done, the soil will be capped with the building, parking lot and other material to keep water from leeching through and creating pollution runoff.
The new facility will virtually fill the 400 block of Maple Avenue, according to the plans.
Green technology designed into components throughout the facility will reduce energy consumption and lessen the environmental impact, leaders said.
The design is the result of months of planning by CamTran’s leadership and employees, working with JPT’s experts, Lucey Noll said. The team visited the newest transit centers in the state, talking to representatives about design issues.
“We asked them all what were the hiccups,” she said. “What did they wish they had included? What would they do different?”
The architects and engineers also spent time at CamTran’s current facility on Central Avenue in Moxham. They studied operations at the former trolley barn to look for inefficiencies to eliminate in the move.
If bids can be awarded this month, Noll said, work can begin in late April or early May.
“We anticipated it will be an 18-month project,” she said.