Ben Franklin Transit plans new office at Richland Wye
Ben Franklin Transit is preparing to construct a new two-story operations center at its campus on Columbia Park Trail, near the Richland Wye.
The transit agency submitted plans for review under Washington’s Environmental Protection Act or SEPA. The city of Richland determined the 17,032-square-foot project will not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment in a decision issued Jan. 5.
Plans indicate the new building will replace an existing operations facility and will be constructed behind the Ben Franklin administration building at 1000 Columbia Park Trail. The new building will be constructed on the same footprint as the one it replaces.
TCF Architecture designed the project, which will accommodate fixed route and Dial-a-Ride Drivers, schedulers, the safety and training team and other operations staff.
Construction is expected to start in spring 2023 and will take approximately one year.
The project was designed as a three-story building but was reduced to two because of pandemic concerns. Documents indicate the structure will be able to accommodate a third story in the future.
An estimated 250 people will use the building daily, including multiple driver shifts. About 60 people will occupy it “regularly.” It will contain a mix of open and private offices, work areas, dispatch, training and conference rooms. There will be a commons with kitchen and locker facilities.
New utilities, pedestrian walks, amenities to accommodate people with disabilities and updated stormwater facilities.
Ben Franklin Transit notes the property is served by transit, with a bus stop on Columbia Park Trail along the frontage of its property.