LA MESA–Using federal stimulus funds, SANDAG, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, and the City of La Mesa have begun work on a project to enhance pedestrian and ADA access at the Grossmont Transit Center.
The construction project will add elevators and a pedestrian bridge, making it easier for transit patrons to move back and forth to the busy Grossmont Center-area businesses on a mesa about 40 feet above the center and Trolley station.
The project will cost a total of $8 million, including $4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. The City of La Mesa contributed $540,000. The rest of the funds come from federal and state transportation programs.
“This is the type of project that the stimulus was meant to support,” said SANDAG Chair and Escondido Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler. “We have been able to start construction quickly, and put people to work. It also serves the SANDAG goal of creating walkable communities.”
Currently, transit patrons at the station must either use a long wooden stairway up a hillside or take a much longer path around on sidewalks to get back and forth to the Grossmont Center area. The project will provide elevator access to the area for those unable to get up and down the stairs.
“The Grossmont Transit Center is one of our region’s finest examples of transit oriented development,” said Metropolitan Transit System Chairman Harry Mathis. “We now have more than 500 apartments built right next to one of the region’s most robust transit corridors. With two Trolley lines and two major bus routes, this station has more than one million boardings every year. These pedestrian improvements are a tremendous addition and will enhance the transit experience for all our riders.”
La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid, who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony on Feb. 17 along with Pfeiler and Mathis, said the project was a much appreciated addition to the city.
“The project is the culmination of a lot work, and will bring great benefits to the community – better access for the disabled, easier travel for people visiting Grossmont Center, and a more walkable community,” Madrid said. “The icing on the cake is that it will be built by a local La Mesa contractor, supporting local workers and businesses.”
SANDAG will oversee the construction, being done by Riha Construction. MTS will maintain and operate the facility. Work is expected to be complete in summer of 2011.
Additional enhancements will include a bridge landing at the mesa, new paving, a colonnade flanking the elevator tower, furniture, landscaping, lighting, and enhanced busway pavement. Bicycle lockers also will be installed near the Trolley platform.