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Burbank Approves Plans for Transit Center at Bob Hope Airport

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The Burbank City Council has approved development applications submitted by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority for construction of a $120-million Regional Intermodal Transportation Center (RITC) and associated improvements at Bob Hope Airport.

Burbank Approves Plans for Transit Center at Bob Hope Airport
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The authority says it intends to put the project out to bid in late winter/early spring 2011. Airport spokesman Victor Gill says the authority has already contracted gkkworks to provide program management services for the RITC, and the Los Angeles firm of Anil Verma Associates is providing construction design services. Completion of the project is expected by December 2012.

The RITC will allow air, rail, bus, and rental car travelers to converge seamlessly at one central point, facilitating greater use of public transportation, mitigating private vehicle travel by airport patrons and reducing the airport’s environmental impacts on the community.

The project is expected to create over 600 full-time equivalent jobs during construction in 2011-2012.

The RITC is comprised of a three-level solar powered structure that includes a consolidated rental car facility and a bus transit level. A covered moving walkway will connect the RITC to the airport passenger terminal, and a compressed natural gas fueling station next to the RITC will service airport parking shuttle buses and be open to members of the public who drive CNG-powered automobiles.

Burbank Water and Power will install and operate a major solar panel array on top of the structure.

The project also includes acquisition and improvement of an existing parking lot for Amtrak, Metrolink and airport passengers. “The authority is gratified to have the city’s endorsement to move ahead with this project, which will bring significant enhancements and efficiencies to the traveling public while reducing traffic impacts of the airport on Burbank residents,” says authority President Frank Quintero. “Bob Hope Airport is already well-known for its convenience and this transportation center will be a real step forward for both the airport and the city.”

The RITC will also address an airfield safety issue and add significant emergency response capabilities for the region. Once it is built, rental cars will move from their current ready lot immediately next to the airfield ramp and much of the cleared area will be converted to Runway Safety Area to meet FAA standards. There will also be space for a covered ground transportation center for airport parking shuttles, hotel parking shuttles and off-airport parking shuttles.

The structure is being designed to withstand a large magnitude earthquake and would be made available to emergency response agencies to manage personnel and the flow of medical and relief supplies in the event of a large scale emergency.

After the initial opening in 2012, the authority intends to acquire land bordering the railroad tracks next to the Bob Hope Airport train station and improve the existing public parking lot to ensure convenient access for Metrolink and Amtrak passengers, as well as airport passengers. Plans also call for an enclosed elevated walkway across Empire Avenue connecting the RITC to the train station platform.

The RITC will have numerous aesthetic features. Art will in effect become the architecture, with prominent displays of large-scale public art viewable on all sides. The transit station level will be covered by a dramatic 195-ft open span trussed roof, and the overall facility will be characterized by long-span, high-bay, open architecture without shear walls or prominent bracing that are often associated with large parking structures.

The project will be paid for by airport revenue bonds issued on the strength of rental car revenues and customer fees, Airport Passenger Facility Charge revenue and airport operating revenue. Congressman Brad Sherman has also secured a $550,000 federal grant to support the project.

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