Properties Magazine January 2013 : Page 11

Station I.D. RTA’s Buckeye-Woodhill transformation broadcasts commitment to accessibility and safety By Lou Kren | Photos by Stephen Manka B uckeye-Woodhill Rapid Transit Station has undergone quite a change. Greater Clevelanders found out how extensive that change was last fall when RTA officials officially dedicated the newly reconstructed station, which serves patrons riding RTA’s Green and Blue rail lines. Formerly a dim depression leading to the rapid platform with covered stairs descending opposing slopes, the new $3.65 million station is accurately described as a halo. A structural-steel-supported fiberglass panel canopy forms that halo, with the effect heightened at night as lighting seeps up through translucent canopy panels to illuminate the entire structure. The canopy covers new ADA-compliant switchback ramps – with bisecting stairs – that traverse slopes on each side of the tracks down to customer platforms, with a ramp system in place allowing wheelchair users to board the trains. The platforms are accessible from both Buckeye and Woodhill roads. The facility also includes public art. Themed “the heart and soul of Buckeye,” the main sculpture is a 21-foot-tall stainless steel, 1940s-style microphone accented with blue LED lights, visible from both the east and westbound plat-forms. Fabricated and installed by Moritz Wood and Metal, the microphone serves as an ode to the community’s jazz history. Commuters now have 33 free parking spots, with more possible as RTA has acquired some additional parcels adjoin-ing the site above the south ramps. Driving the design The halo effect of the canopy, as well as installation of the ramps, hints at why the station underwent reconstruction. RTA officials wanted a safer, more secure sta-tion that also would be ADA-accessible. Properties recently toured the new sta-tion with Tim Neufer, project architect with Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects, Inc., of Cleveland; Art Conell, project manager from Great Lakes Crushing Ltd., of Willowick; and project manager Ken Folk, resident engineer with RTA. All three noted the importance of bringing an ADA component to this project along with addressing safety concerns. The project also was designed as a catalyst for the Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhood, as RTA has approached recent projects with an eye toward partnering with local 11

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