Lafayette Station Gets Facelift
After almost 50 years of operations, BART’s Lafayette Station needed significant upgrades to meet current code requirements and improve commuter access and comfort. The project addressed traffic issues at the intermodal section and made improvements to optimize traffic, lower congestion, and meet ADA requirements. The project also provided the opportunity to make environmental and stormwater improvements such as installing permeable pavers and rain gardens to increase stormwater capture and treatment.
Better Access, Electrical Upgrades, and Environmental and Water Quality Improvements
Efforts on this project focused on three primary areas: station access, electrical upgrades, and environmental and water quality improvements.
To improve station access, the project removed and replaced multiple large-scale parking lots, installed new lighting, upgraded the station entrance, and made ADA improvements on BART property and the City of Lafayette Right of Way such as new stairs and ADA ramps. To make it easier for commuters to find their way around the station, the entire station signage plan was redesigned and changed to include a 17-foot-high truss bridge sign welcoming commuters and visitors to the City of Lafayette.
The electrical upgrades completely re-wired the electrical room, replaced all panel boxes, and upgraded the emergency phone and communication system. Additional electrical upgrades included a new Solar City Solar Panel farm to power the station. The solar system required new cables and conduits and included trenching to install electrical and communication cables underground.
The environmental remediation and water quality upgrades completely replanted all station landscaping, installed permeable pavers, curb and gutters, and associated underdrains, and replaced and modified storm drain piping and inlets. A unique project feature was the addition of multiple bio-retention areas, also referred to as rain gardens, to treat stormwater naturally and allow for local groundwater recharge.
Ghirardelli Provides Construction Management Services
Our team was responsible for administering the construction contract including reviewing and processing all project RFIs, submittals, inspection reports, track allocations, and project-level coordination. Our assigned Resident Engineer reviewed, analyzed, and negotiated cost proposals submitted by the Contractor; prepared Change Notices and Change Orders; generated the Engineer’s Estimate, pre-negotiation plan, and backup documents to support the issuance of CN/CO; performed site visits to verify that the extra work performed by contractor was completed; facilitated weekly meetings; and maintained constant oversight over contract schedule and budget.
Office Engineer tasks included RFI and submittal tracking and coordination, system access requests, change order/change notice coordination, and labor and contract compliance. We also attended and took notes of weekly construction meetings and helped manage project closeout.
Coordination is Key
This project was in a high-profile area and directly impacted BART ridership. As a result, it required a lot of coordination across many BART divisions to help ensure the public was notified of changes that affected them during each phase of construction. The work schedule was also very aggressive as both parking lots needed to be paved and completed before the winter rainy season. Additional coordination was required to meet funding requirements since the project used funding from two sources.
Other project challenges involved multiple owner-directed changes; intense community involvement, and temporarily removing close to 300 parking spaces. As a result, the City of Lafayette actively monitored the construction progress to ensure that community impact was minimal, and the morning commute would not be disrupted.