The Greater Richmond Transit Co.’s new $37-million Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility in Richmond provides the oldest mass transportation system in the U.S. with much-needed 21st century facilities.

Photo Courtesy Gannett Fleming
Photo Courtesy Gannett Fleming

After more than 100 years of operating out of its old Cary Street facilities, GRTC wanted a new facility that could also double as its corporate headquarters to support the company for the next 150 years.

The new building houses all 560 employees working in operations, maintenance and administration. The 12-acre site accommodates outdoor bus storage; a three-story 26,600-sq-ft administration building; and an adjacent, two-story, 100,600-sq-ft maintenance building.

The maintenance building includes fueling lanes, automatic bus washers, maintenance bays for light and heavy work and a body shop complete with a downdraft paint booth to accommodate articulated buses.

Access to the site was limited. There were no active public streets adjacent to the site, and it had a railroad right-of-way bordering one side and commercial businesses on the other three sides. The team worked with the commercial businesses and the city of Richmond to re-activate two former rights-of-way for site access.

Prior to the purchase by GRTC, the site was littered with debris, concrete and metal of old demolished building structures. The demolition process had spread asbestos throughout the construction site. Prior to any new construction, extensive soil sampling and testing and subsequent remediation had to take place.

Subsequent air monitoring, sampling, testing and remediation for asbestos then needed to take place during construction.

General contractor Howard Shockey & Sons worked 23,682 hours and had no lost-time accidents and no OSHA recordable incidents.

Strong teamwork helped deliver significant savings. The new maintenance building was completed on time, and the administration building was occupied two months early. The project was completed approximately $2 million under budget.

The project is the first public building in Richmond to achieve LEED Silver certification.

Key Players

Owner: Greater Richmond Transit Co.
Contractor: Howard Shockey & Sons Inc.
Construction Manager: Gannett Fleming Inc.
Architect: KEi Architects
Engineer: Gannett Fleming Inc.