Starting Sunday, the Kanawha Valley Regional Transit Authority is temporarily relocating its Transit Mall passenger boarding operation from Laidley Street to Court Street between Brawley Walkway and Quarrier Street to accommodate construction of its new $2.9 million City Centre Station.

Demolition of the current KRT Transit Mall building and the complete replacement of Laidley Street and its sidewalks between Quarrier Street and Brawley Walkway is expected to get underway by the end of April.

That work will be followed by construction of City Centre Station, which will feature seven new lighted passenger shelters, electronic real-time passenger information displays, automatic ticket vending machines and increased lighting and other security improvements.

The new building is designed by ZMM Architects, with engineering services provided by GAI Consultants and building work handled by Wiseman Construction, all of Charleston. The new transit mall is expected to be completed in November.

The transit company’s capital reserve funds will cover design and construction costs, while federal and local grants will pay for passenger amenities.

“This new facility represents years of planning and collaboration with county, city and federal agencies to bring a state-of-the-art transit hub to the citizens of Kanawha County,” said Todd Goldman, KRT’s board president.

Work on City Centre Station will take place as the City of Charleston launches a major upgrade of adjacent Slack Plaza. The two projects, Goldman said, share “a common goal of making downtown Charleston a draw for economic opportunity.”

An economic impact study completed last year indicates that every dollar spent on public transportation infrastructure rolls $4 back into the economy of the area it serves, according to KRT Executive Director Doug Hartley, since “people ride buses to make money and to spend it.”

Reach Rick Steelhammer

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