Pittsburgh Regional Transit’s West Mifflin maintenance garage is in line for a $12.1 million overhaul.
Greg O’Hare, the agency’s chief engineer, said the project will add a second wash rack for buses, a new paint booth, thermal windows and a huge vacuum that attaches to a bus door to suck out loose items passengers leave onboard at the end of the day. The West Mifflin facility, located on Route 885 (Lebanon Road) near Allegheny County Airport, hasn’t been upgraded since the 1990s and is the last of the agency’s four garages to go through the process.
The new wash racks — think of a drive-through car wash, only bigger — will recycle about 80% of the water they use. Other garages in East Liberty, Ross and Collier already have bus vacuums, but workers in West Mifflin have to remove litter and other debris by hand.
The project won’t increase the number of buses the garage can handle, but it will allow maintenance staff to work more efficiently, O’Hare said. It also won’t include charging or maintenance facilities for electric buses, which currently operate only out of the agency’s East Liberty garage.
One of the agency’s long-range goals is being carbon neutral by 2045. Another is adding a maintenance garage to allow for expanded passenger service, but it hasn’t identified a location or funding for that project, which could cost more than $200 million.
The board’s performance oversight committee last week recommended the full board award the following contracts for the 19-month West Mifflin project when it meets Thursday: general contractor, Mosites Construction Co., $10 million; mechanical, SSM Industries, $596,000; plumbing, Wheels Mechanical Contracting & Supplier Inc., $688,000; and electrical, Allegheny City Electric, $1.9 million.