By Patrick McCallister
For Hometown News
DELAND -- After more than a decade of planning and waiting for money, the city's intermodal transportation facility is slated for construction.
The City Commission approved a $1.02 million bid from APM Construction to start building in coming months.
"The footprint will accommodate the future transportation needs of DeLand," Keith Riger, city engineer, said. "It's going to be very nicely done. It'll be a well-protected area."
The construction money was from a Federal Transportation Authority grant Congress approved in 2001. The 3.5 acre, L-shaped transportation facility will be in the 400 block of South Woodland Boulevard and reach around to the 100 block of East Euclid Avenue. The city owns the property. Votran, Volusia County's public transportation provider, is the only slated user. However, companies such as Greyhound might also use it.
Mr. Riger said construction should begin in March and finish within 180 days. The facility, he said, will architecturally compliment DeLand's historic character.
"We've taken pains to make it fit the neighborhood," he said. "It's going to look more like DeLand and have landscape."
Steve Sherrer, general manager of Votran, said the county will have public meetings in coming months to discuss redesigning routes around the new transportation facility.
"We're looking forward to it," Mr. Sherrer said.
Votran now uses the parking lot at Northgate Plaza, 101 E. International Speedway Blvd., to connect routes 60 (Daytona Beach), 20 (Orange City) and 24 (Pierson). Mr. Sherrer said the new transportation facility is likely to slightly change all of those routes.
Steve Olson, public information manager for the state Department of Transportation, said the DeLand intermodal transportation facility is an important piece of infrastructure for the changing Central Florida commuting map. In 2016, the SunRail commuter train is supposed to reach the DeLand Amtrak Station at 2491 Old New York Ave.
Votran is planning a shuttle service from the transportation facility to the Amtrak station.
"If we drop you off at the DeLand station, how will you go that extra mile?" Mr. Olson said. "That relationship (between commuter rail and public buses) is going to be very symbiotic. Both of those modes will help each other."
The transportation facility will have a covered port for up to four busses, along with 30 parking spaces and a bicycle area. Additionally, it will have covered benches, restrooms and spaces for vending machines. There's space for constructing an administrative office later, if needed.
Mr. Riger said in addition to shuttles to the Amtrak station, it's possible there'll be shuttle services to downtown DeLand.