The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), along with the Los Angeles office of Stantec, recently began work on the $109-million Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station Improvement Project in Los Angeles.

The 6.9-acre project will reimagine the existing station as a community hub with an expanded and more efficient passenger experience, improved connections to the surrounding community and streamlined rail and bus transfers.

Stantec is providing architecture, lighting design, and project management on the project. Key subconsultants include Kimley Horn & Associates for transit planning and civil engineering; Miyamoto International and PacRim Engineering for structural engineering; PBS Engineers for mechanical, plumbing and electrical engineering; and W2 Design for utilities and civil engineering. The general contractor on the project is Icon West.

The roughly 300,000-sq-ft expansion of Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station is critical, as the station has grown to the fourth most heavily used in the Metro system. Project highlights include:

  • Metro Customer Service and Security Center: The new 6,800-sq-ft center will have space for traditional customer service—purchasing tickets, getting help with route planning—and also house a security station and traffic court, bringing that function much closer to the community.
  • A 7,450-sq-ft Metro Bike Hub to provide a secure and protected space for bicycle parking. The facility will also be an education center, with seminars and workshops planned on bike safety and maintenance
  • Community Plaza: This 22,200-sq-ft open-air space has been designed as a public resource to be used for community events year-round, including special exhibits, celebrations, movie nights, and food trucks
  • Station Remodel: The heart of the facility is the station itself, which will be closed for a period of time for construction. The 13,250-sq-ft remodel includes: extending the platform and mezzanine connection, providing greater capacity and daylight for those using the platform; a new pedestrian crossing across Metro and Union Pacific tracks; new elevators and stairs between the Blue and Green lines; a new “kiss-and-ride” dedicated drop-off location; and additional dedicated bus bays

Pat McKelvey, a senior principal at Stantec, told me that the project has made it possible to leverage public investment in the station to create enhancements that give back to an “underserved community,” such as a public plaza, which will be used for neighborhood activities, markets, art shows and similar community events.

“The intent of the design is to open the station to the community, provide convenient access to and from the Station, while simultaneously meeting the operational and functional requirements of a multi-modal transit station,” says McKelvey. “The current Blue Line train platform is under the I-605 freeway overpass, a dark and unfriendly environment. The design extends the platform out from under the freeway, improves lighting, relocates bus transfer bays to a more safe and convenient location, provides a safe Kiss and Ride drop off, plus adding the Customer Service, Security Center and Mobility Hub to the Station.”

“The transformation of the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station into a modern transit hub is being made possible by our local, state and federal funding partners,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington in a news release. “In addition to providing a better mobility experience for our customers, this crucial work will improve the quality of life for the Willowbrook community.”

The project is scheduled to finish in 2020.