Transit Briefs: Amtrak, LA MetroWritten by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
Amtrak’s contracted Penn Station Partners have released renderings of the planned expansion of Baltimore Penn Station. Also, LA Metro selects Anser Advisory to oversee the development of the Sepulveda Transit Corridor (STC).
Three renderings of the planned expansion of Baltimore’s Penn Station were released last week after the city’s Urban Design and Architecture Advisory Panel reviewed the station’s design.
According to a report by The Baltimore Banner, Amtrak contracted Penn Station Partners, which consists of Beatty Development Group and Cross Street Partners, as master developers before construction began in February 2022. Additional firms involved in the project include design and architectural firm Gensler.
According to The Baltimore Banner, the 47,109-square-foot expansion will be built over the tracks to the north of the historic station and then fully integrated with the existing structure. The project also includes extending the concourse, adding two new train platforms, redoing exterior finishes, and adding office and retail spaces to the building’s vacant levels. All station operations, Beatty Development says, including ticketing and baggage, will relocate to the new expansion.
Work on the existing station has already begun but construction on the site’s additions is planned to start before the end of 2023 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025, according to The Baltimore Banner.
According to the report, in April 2019, Amtrak initially committed as much as $90 million to renovate Baltimore Penn Station, which has also received $4 million in state funding from then-Gov. Larry Hogan and the Maryland General Assembly. A federal infrastructure grant added an additional $6 million, The Baltimore Banner reported.
LA Metro, in its Oct. 27, 2022, Board of Directors meeting, “unanimously approved” the selection of Anser Advisory to provide program management and pre-development agreement oversight services for the Sepulveda Transit Corridor (STC) project, the nation’s “largest alternative delivery transit project.”
To “tackle the complex challenge of building a world-class public transportation route through the natural barrier of the Santa Monica mountains,” LA Metro says it is pursuing an innovative approach using pre-development agreements (PDAs) to evaluate two potential transit technology approaches—monorail and heavy rail solutions.
LA Metro is working with two private-sector teams, LA SkyRail Express (including John Laing, BYD, Skanska, ACI, HDR, Gensler and Innova) and Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners (including Bechtel Development Company, Meridiam Sepulveda and American Triple I (ATI), Bechtel Infrastructure, Mott Macdonald, T.Y. Lin, and Systra) under a “first-of-its-kind” PDA to develop project alternatives.
In March 2021, Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners was awarded a $69.9 million PDA contract to further develop its proposed heavy rail concept; SkyRail Express was awarded a $63.6 million PDA contract to further develop its proposed monorail concept.
Anser Advisory will coordinate and oversee the development efforts of the two PDA teams on behalf of LA Metro to “best align the proposed solutions” with the agency’s goals and objectives for the corridor and advise LA Metro on the technical evaluation of the proposals.
If one of the PDA’s proposed alternatives is selected as a locally preferred alternative (LPA) in Metro’s environmental clearance process, Anser Advisory could assist Metro in structuring and negotiating project implementation via a potential public-private partnership (P3) delivery model.
“We recognize the significance and urgency within this opportunity to reimagine one of the nation’s busiest travel corridors,” said Anser Advisory Chief Delivery Officer and Principal P3 Advisor Adam Shaw. “We applaud Metro’s willingness to use an innovative delivery approach that will result in a thoroughly-considered approach in an unprecedented time for infrastructure development across Los Angeles.”
The STC project intends to link Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley to its westside neighborhoods with innovative, high-speed, high-capacity service that will provide a transit alternative to I-405 traffic congestion. The project is funded in part by Measure M, the transportation sales tax approved by 71% of Los Angeles County voters in 2016. The Measure M Expenditure Plan calls for delivery of the valley to westside project phase by 2033-35 and extension to LAX by 2057-59.