GETTING A TICKET TO RIDE
Soon after the Central Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (CPTA) announced that rabbittransit’s Downtown Transfer Center in York would be closed for construction, they hired our Custom team as the general trades contractor for the project. Custom joined a fleet that included an engineer, architect, construction manager, and mechanical and electrical contractors.
Funded by the Federal Transit Administration and PennDOT, the new King Street Bus Station has improved lighting, ADA accessibility, safety and security, and roof clearance for the taller Compressed Natural Gas busses. To accommodate these improvements, the project required replacing the existing platform, building and sidewalks with a 5,100-square-foot canopied platform with a 475-square-foot ticket building with restrooms; a 190-square-foot glass-enclosed waiting area; and five, free-standing bus stop canopies.
SHARING THE FARE
In March 2021, crews began demolishing the existing platform and curbs. Bound by the Rail Trail, Codorus Creek, South Pershing Avenue and West King Street, our Site division performed excavation services, E&S controls and installed fencing around trees and the entire area prior to demolition.
In addition to Site, our Materials and Rebar teams pitched in, providing concrete and reinforcements for the platform, sidewalk, and bus pad pours that were self-performed by our concrete crew. To prevent waviness and uneven surfaces that hinder accessibility, the concrete bus pads had to be smooth and strong. In total, we placed 2,200 linear feet of dowel baskets, 19,500 square feet of wire mats, and 420 yards of concrete to reinforce the pads.
Every recent project has an example of material shortages and delays caused by supply chain issues. The material issue here was the cedar ceiling planks, which were months on back order. We recommended an alternate material, but the owner chose to wait for the cedar planks and accept the schedule delay. Our challenge then was ensuring that the ceiling installer and the trades following them – the electrician and finishers – were ready to work as soon as the material arrived on site.
The subcontractor estimated four weeks to install the cedar ceiling, but after the first week of installation, it became clear to Custom superintendent Brady Rodkey that the subcontractor underestimated their time. A schedule impact this late in the game would have a costly ripple effect, including liquidated damages. So, to keep things on track, Custom provided additional carpenters to support the ceiling subcontractor.
Project manager Jed Smith said of Brady, “He adapts so well to field challenges. He knows what each trade does and how they do it so he can support them, if needed. When subs appreciate this, they’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done.” For example, when their supplier ran out of the necessary ceiling clips, the installer informed the team right away and ate the cost of finding another clip supplier to deliver them the next day. By working together, the ceiling was installed in four weeks as originally planned.
TRANSFER OF TRUST
Working with a construction manager (CM) instead of directly with the client was unusual for our Custom team. Jed said of this unique opportunity, “This was my first CM and first transit project, so I was excited for a new experience.”
One challenge resulting from the CM’s involvement was building a relationship with the client while having the CM as gatekeeper. This changed when Custom took over the contract to install the station display monitors. The owner’s original contractor backed out at the last minute, so our team stepped up to take over this scope of work. In two weeks, they procured and installed two large mounts and monitors in the ticket building and eight smaller mounts, fabricated by Industrial, under the canopy – all in time for the station’s opening in April.
After earning their trust and opening the lines of communication, the owner told the team how pleased they were with the bus stations’ quality. For Jed, their satisfaction made the project’s challenges worthwile and says a lot about our ability to adapt and do the right thing by our clients.