Construction is set to be in full swing next month as work begins on the DTA's new Multimodal Transportation Center. The new center, designed by LHB Architects, will be built by Mortenson Construction and is expected to be completed this coming Fall.
The DTA Multimodal Transportation Center will be located behind their current transit station that sits on Superior Street. This means the new project will sit on the corner of South 2nd Avenue West and West Michigan Street at the site of a current parking ramp. It may seem a little odd and wasteful to rip down a parking ramp... to just build another one. But, NO... oh no... this is far more than just a parking ramp. So you might be asking yourself "then what exactly is it?" A hub.
The new parking ramp to be constructed will have space for 410 vehicles with some spaces equipped with electric vehicle charging stations. The transit space of this project will include nine bus loading bays along with three additional spaces for local, regional, and intercity carriers such as the Jefferson Lines. This will make it MUCH easier for more buses to pull in at once downtown while not constraining traffic flows on Superior Street. This also will allow for more downtown bus routes to be able to stop more frequently downtown than in the past.
What is probably one of the biggest and most noticeable changes that will occur with this project is the renovation/rebuilding of surrounding skyways, specifically the Northwest Passage that stretches across Interstate 35 connecting downtown Duluth to the DECC. In addition to the surrounding skywalks being revitalized, the current DTA Transit Center East located on Superior Street will also be renovated. This space will become a "pedestrian gateway" connecting the new Multimodal Transportation Center to ultimately the the lifeline of downtown Duluth; Superior Street. This renovation of the DTA Transit Center East will also include the addition of retail space.
Lastly. What in the world does this project mean for users of public transportation in Duluth? To put it plainly and simple... things are about to get a lot nicer and a lot more convenient. Amenities in the new facility will include a "state of the art indoor passenger waiting terminal" that will include public restrooms and even a police substation. There also will be bike storage on site and a Wells Fargo drive thru banking center.
Something that was a priority in the design of this new facility, something that pedestrians will come to notice quite quickly, is how pedestrians and vehicles are kept apart. The Multimodal Center was designed so that pedestrians and the various forms of transportation on site will never have to cross paths. That is until you board your desired type of transportation of course. Safety and efficiency are of the utmost highest priority for the DTA Multimodal Transportation Center.
Construction could be completed this coming fall if everything goes according the plan.