Construction is now expected to begin this spring on a long-planned transfer station project for Bluefield.

The $2.1 million project was announced more than two years ago by the city, but environmental testing at the site of the development, along with other requirements, have delayed the project’s timeline. It will be constructed along Bluefield Avenue, not far from the existing Bluefield Commercialization Station.

The ongoing design work on the project is now expected to be completed soon, and city officials hope to break ground on the transfer station next spring.

The transfer station is envisioned as a state-of-the-art facility that will offer riders of the city’s public transportation system a cooled and heated indoor facility with restrooms. It will also serve Graham Transit, based in Bluefield, Va. and the existing Greyhound system.

At the moment, the city is using an open-sided outdoor shelter on Princeton Avenue that lacks facilities. Residents who wait for Bluefield Area Transit system buses at this site are currently exposed to the elements, including rain and snow.

The new transfer station also will serve as a fueling station for CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles. City Manager Dane Rideout is hoping to convert all BAT buses in the city to CNG.

The transfer station isn’t to be confused with the ill-fated Colonial Intermodal Center, a project proposed by a previous city board that failed to materialize, largely due to its $10 million price tag.

That project also was to serve as a transfer station site for public transportation, but would have included pods for business development.

The new center, although smaller in scale, will meet the region’s same public transportation needs. It will also help in accommodating future growth for the Bluefield Area Transit, along with the Greyhound and Graham Transit systems.

The transfer center also will be beneficial in getting passengers out of the elements, particularly during periods of inclement weather such as snow and rain, and inside a warm and secure facility.

It’s an important project. We look forward to the start of construction later this year.

 

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