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The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Cap Metro) board recently approved a $36.8 million contract with Jay-Reese Contractors Inc. to build a new downtown MetroRail station in Austin, Texas.
Construction on the station — which will be situated on the Red Line running between Austin and Leander — is slated to start in April. Completion is scheduled for early 2021.
Downtown rail service will be temporarily halted from June to October due to construction activities. During that timespan, trains will stop at the Plaza Saltillo Station.
The current downtown station was intended to be a temporary structure and the authority long has needed a permanent, larger facility, Cap Metro officials say in an online project summary. The facility is the smallest, yet busiest of the line’s nine stations, they said.
“Our goal is to create a great public plaza that ties together Downtown Station, the convention center and surrounding hotels and businesses, as well as to offer a unique, integrated visitor experience for downtown Austin,” Cap Metro officials say.
The station will feature parasol structures mounted on columns to provide riders overhead protection while they wait for or exit trains. In addition, the facility will include larger ticketing and waiting areas to reduce platform crowding, and improved crowd control operations.
Cap Metro is building the station to expand MetroRail service capacity on the Red Line, especially during the morning and evening commutes, authority officials said.