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(From left) Philip Jones of Oates Associates, MCT Director of Facilities Rob Schmidt, MCT Director of Planning & Capital Projects Phil Roggio, Andy Economy of the MCT Board of Trustees, MCT Board Chairman Ron Jedda, MCT Director of Engineering Mark Steyer, MCT Managing Director SJ Morrison, Bruce Unterbrink of Unterbrink Construction, Kelly Schmidt of the MCT Board of Trustees, Chris Guy of the MCT Board of Trustees, Jayne and John Simmons, Paul Crause, East Alton Mayor Joe Silkwood, and Madison County State’s Attorney-Elect Tom Haine.

Members of the Madison County Transit Board of Trustees, along with MCT staff, local elected officials, contractors, and the owners of nearby Eastgate Plaza, donned hardhats and wielded shovels Nov. 23 to break ground on the future MCT Eastgate Park & Ride facility.  

The new facility, which will be on a two-acre site just south of Eastgate Plaza on Illinois 3 in East Alton, will feature 104 parking stalls, a brick passenger waiting building, driver restrooms, and video surveillance. The new park and ride will be served by the No. 1X Riverbend Express, which provides commuter service to and from downtown St. Louis; and the No. 1 Riverbend, which operates between Alton, Wood River, East Alton, and Granite City. Eastgate is a popular location for commuters traveling to and from downtown St. Louis. 

In August, MCT issued an invitation for bids for the construction of the Eastgate facility. MCT received 12 bids, and on Oct. 29, the MCT Board approved an award of contract to Bruce Unterbrink Construction, the lowest responsive bidder, in the amount of $1,596,000. The subcontractors on the project are MC Electric, Kane Mechanical, GroundWorks, and Becker Masonry. The project design team is led by Oates Associates with subconsultants Arcturis, BRiC Partnership, and Faith Group.

“MCT has leased a portion of Eastgate Plaza’s lot for a bus stop and passenger parking for decades, and it’s long been one of our more popular park and ride lots,” MCT Managing Director SJ Morrison said. “To their credit, the owners and businesses of Eastgate Plaza have made this area a growing retail and dining destination, so MCT decided it was time to develop our own parking and our own passenger waiting facilities that were adjacent to the existing location. The owners have been very helpful throughout this process, I can’t thank them enough for their support.”

MCT will be utilizing federal funds to pay 80 percent of the project cost ($1,276,800); MCT’s 20 percent local match is $319,200. Construction will begin immediately, and with an estimated construction time of 10 months, the facility is expected to be complete in the fall of 2021. For more information about MCT and its services, visit www.mct.org, e-mail info@mct.org, or call (618) 797-4636. 

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