By Kathryn Kelman/editor-in-chief
To accommodate the Trinity Metro buses on campus, the TCC board of trustees approved contract agreements for infrastructure improvements on two campuses at the April 19 board meeting.
The improvements will take place on NE and SE because the campuses will have bus services for the first time starting in August. The campuses’ current infrastructure doesn’t safely accommodate buses to load and unload riders without congesting traffic, said Nina Petty, real estate and facilities vice chancellor.
“The existing pavement was not designed to accommodate frequent bus traffic and would likely be severely damaged if not upgraded,” Petty said.
According to the memo, the improvements will include placing new concrete pavings, electrical and data infrastructure and installation of bus stops on the campuses.
“Dedicated bus stops will be built to permit boarding and alighting of buses out of regular traffic flow. Bus shelters will be installed. Lighting and sidewalks to the bus stop will be installed,” Petty said.
NE already has a bus stop on campus, which Petty said will remain as a shelter for car pick-up and drop-off, but a new bus shelter will be installed because a transit bus cannot safely navigate the parking area where the existing shelter is.
Both jobs have been contracted with Chambers Engineering, LLC for $389,502.91 for SE and $497,551.58 for NE.
The schedule suggested by the design engineers and confirmed by the installing contractor for both projects is three to four months, Petty said. The memo summary said the timeline will also depend on the academic calendar, which could create delays.
The project will likely break ground in mid-May with completion by mid-August, Petty said. Students should be mindful of the construction when they return in the fall.
“But the college will take all precautions needed to secure the construction sites and adequately direct and re-route pedestrian and vehicular traffic during the construction,” she said.
Had the board not approved the contracts for the infrastructure changes, TCC could have forfeited the partnership that would help address the growing demand for public transportation options for students, faculty and staff at NE and SE, according to the memo summaries.
Transportation to the two campuses has long been an issue, said communications and external affairs vice chancellor Reginald Gates.
“The partnership with Trinity Metro set the stage for identifying a solution,” he said, adding that this solution will help students reach their education goals at TCC.
Trinity Metro, previously known as The T, already provided bus services to the college’s Fort Worth campuses (South, NW and TR), but didn’t connect to TCC’s Hurst (NE) and Arlington (SE) campuses.
Travel to those two campuses is primarily done by car, which can be an obstacle for students, Gates said.
“It’s our hope that more students of Tarrant County will have access to the education training opportunities available at all of our campuses,” he said.