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September 26, 2023

Contract Awarded for First Construction Package of Metro Transit’s $52-Million Secure Platform Plan for MetroLink

Millstone Weber LLC has been awarded the contract for the first construction package in Metro Transit’s $52-million project to install security gates and fencing at MetroLink platforms on the 46-mile light rail system. The $6.4 million contract with Millstone Weber focuses on four MetroLink stations in St. Clair County: the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center Station, College Station, Emerson Park Station and Washington Park Station. The work at all four MetroLink stations is expected to be completed next spring. The project is the first of several construction packages tied to Metro Transit’s Secure Platform Plan that will be put out for bid.

The Secure Platform Plan is a multi-tiered security strategy to grow ridership and create a more secure environment for transit riders by creating centralized and highly secure entrances at MetroLink stations. Access to MetroLink platforms will be gained through paid fare – and access to station platforms controlled through integrated fare collection gates. Installation of secure gates and fencing will be conducted in a phased approach over the next two years at all 38 MetroLink stations, as well as the new MetroLink station coming to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport.

“The awarding of this first contract is a significant milestone in our effort to transition from an open-access light rail system into a closed-access system, and to reassure riders and the region that their safety and security on the MetroLink system remains our top priority,” said Taulby Roach, Bi-State Development President and CEO. “We greatly appreciate and value the private sector support that is enabling us to advance this important and complex regional project.”

The project has been divided into six construction packages comprised of between four to eight MetroLink stations each. Each of the six construction packages will be put out for bid in a phased approach so that installation of gates and fencing would be underway at some stations while the design on another group of stations would be going on at the same time. The second construction package focuses on the Forest Park-DeBaliviere, Central West End, Cortex, Grand, Union Station, Civic Center and Delmar Loop MetroLink Stations. The design phase for that group of stations is scheduled to be completed later this year, with construction at those seven MetroLink stations expected to be completed next summer.

Metro Transit collaborated with design consultant HNTB to identify the most appropriate gating and fencing solutions for the Secure Platform Plan. HNTB’s primary recommendation of a roto-gate, complemented by a swing gate for ADA and emergency access was selected by Metro Transit. Following a comprehensive analysis and scoring criteria, welded-wire fencing was chosen, and it will provide both optimal security and visual appeal for MetroLink.

St. Charles, Missouri based, Millstone Weber, has over 90 years of construction experience in nearly every sector of the transportation industry and is a pivotal partner in one of Missouri’s most aggressive and needed highway projects; the I-270 reconstruction project nearing completion in North St. Louis County. “We are excited for Millstone Weber to join our team of professionals who believe in this project and improving the lives of our customers. Their work on the I-270 project and other projects brings the construction expertise we need to help make MetroLink Secure Platforms a reality,” said Kevin Scott, General Manager of Security for Bi-State Development.

One of the key elements of the Secure Platform Plan, the establishment of the Real Time Camera Center, is already operational. From the Real Time Camera Center, the Metro Public Safety team and officers from the St. Louis County Police Department have instant access to more than 1,000 live cameras located throughout the transit system, as well as a direct connection to dispatchers, making it quick and seamless to send Public Safety or law enforcement resources where they may be needed. The number of cameras will expand to 1,600 as the Secure Platform Plan continues to move forward, with additional cameras planned for each MetroLink platform and future plans to add live camera feeds to Metro Transit vehicles. The system already connects to existing security cameras found at all Bi-State Development and Metro Transit facilities.

“The Real Time Camera Center is already making a major difference, particularly for proactive policing, and as we continue to increase the visibility it offers, it will become an even more valuable component of our enhanced security platform,” said Scott.

More than $10 million in private funding has been committed to the $52 million Secure Platform Plan project.

The private funding stems from the business community’s belief that the Secure Platform Plan project is extremely important for the St. Louis region and essential to helping people to feel confident enough to use public transportation so they feel welcome and comfortable when riding MetroLink. The public private collaboration supporting this initiative will help to ensure that all citizens of the region have access to public transportation they will use, especially those residents who do not have easy access to cars.

The Secure Platform Plan has been garnering national attention as other cities look for new ways to address security issues on their transit systems.

“It’s a bold program that puts us on a new path toward a safer, more secure system, and as we continue our journey, we anticipate others may follow our lead as we change the dynamic of transit security through this private-public partnership model,” said Roach.

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