TPWA Selects Fort Bend County Public Transportation Facility for 2020 Project of the Year Award
By Jay Srinivasan
The Texas Chapter of the American Public Works Association (TPWA) selected the Fort Bend County Public Transportation Facility project for its 2020 Project of the Year Award, under the $5-$25 million transportation category.
The TPWA established the award to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects by recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, the consultant/architect/engineer and the contractor who, working together, complete public works projects. A panel of judges select projects based on construction management techniques, safety performance, community relations, environmental considerations, and other factors such as unusual accomplishments under adverse conditions, quality control and value engineering.
The $21 million facility, which opened in January 2020, serves as a one-stop shop for Fort Bend County’s transportation department, including its administrative, operations, maintenance, fuel depot and bus washing functions. The facility also accommodates the County’s existing fleet of buses as well as future additions. It includes 18,600 square feet of office space, 28,400 square feet of maintenance bays, covered bus parking, a 7,100-square-foot fuel and washing station, a break area, relaxation lounge and kitchen spaces.
Fort Bend County is one of the fastest growing counties in Texas and the nation. Its rapid population and employment growth have increased traffic congestion considerably. In conjunction with a service provider, the County maintains a fleet of buses, 60 and growing, to serve the needs of the residents. Bus operations, including dispatching and maintenance, are provided by a private contractor while County staff provide reservation, scheduling and administrative activities. Over the past several years, the County performed these functions from four different facilities in Sugar Land.
The new facility allows the County to combine its transportation functions into a single location for improved efficiency and service. The facility is also a key component of the County’s long-range transit plan and is designed for future expansions that will accommodate a 100 percent increase to bus staging capacity.
“A tremendous amount of time, energy and good old-fashioned sweat went into creating this wonderful facility to give us the space and flexibility we needed to grow our program,” said Perri D’Armond, director of public transportation at Fort Bend County. “Our project management team showed great dedication and skill in meeting various challenges along the way. We greatly appreciate this special recognition of our facility and our team.”
Engineering firm Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN) provided planning, engineering and design services for the new transportation facility while SpawGlass served as the contractor. Other firms involved in the project included RdlR Architects as the architect, Huitt Zollars as construction manager, Asakura Robinson as the landscape architect, and HDR | Maintenance Design Group for specialty equipment and systems. The Federal Transit Administration and Fort Bend County provided the funding for the project.
“The award is a testament to the dedication of the project team who worked tirelessly on this project,” said Wayne Swafford, P.E, LAN’s president. “I am incredibly proud of them.”