You'd think building a bus station would be relatively drama-free for Metro, but the new El Monte Station is proving a pain in the ass, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune (we had heard about some trouble in January). The current station offers connections for Metro, Foothill Transit, Greyhound, El Monte Transit, and Metrolink shuttle buses all in a pretty drab facility--a new two-story station will feature glass-lined corridors, retail space, customer service center, open plazas, computer monitors with departure times, bike storage, and surface parking (an adjacent mixed-use transit village is also planned). While digging an eight acre pit for the underground level, Metro uncovered lots of unexpected debris--including a car. A covered up old river or stream could have washed the debris down there, officials told the Tribune.
Dealing with the car and the mess is pushing the original opening date of May back to August (though Metro says fall on its website) and driving the cost from $45 million to $60 million. But work is already pushing ahead; this week workers "finished all the major concrete work for the structure and were beginning to form bus bays" and start steel work. The feds are paying for the station and other transit improvements after Metro and Caltrans agreed to do the ExpressLanes pilot program, in which tolls will be collected from solo drivers who want to commute in carpool lanes.
· Buried car, other debris delay new El Monte bus station [SGVT]
· Gleaming El Monte Bus Station Will Be Less Depressing Than Most Bus Stations [Curbed LA]