St. Clair County Transit District’s Board of Trustees has selected Breese, Ill. – based Poettker Construction to oversee construction of a new 16,000-square-foot Public Safety Center project planned at Emerson Park Transit Center in East St. Louis. The contract is valued at $13,584,000 and is being funded by a $9.975 million “Rebuild Illinois” grant received from Illinois Governor JB Pritzker earlier this year, along with funding from St. Clair County Transit District and Bi-State Development. It will be owned and operated by St. Clair County Transit District. Construction will commence later this year and is expected to be completed in 2024.
The state-of-the-art, two-story facility will house office space for St. Clair County MetroLink Sheriff’s Deputies, Metro Transit Operational Control Center and the St. Clair County CENCOM West 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatch Center. The goal of the new space is to help bolster communications and security collaboration among Metro Transit, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, Metro Transit Public Safety, the Bureau of Transit Police and other public safety partners. The facility will also include office space for St. Clair County Transit District and Chestnut Health Systems™ – a not-for-profit health and human services organization spearheading a pilot program to assist transit riders with mental health issues, homelessness and more – and will feature improved rider amenities, including public restrooms for riders and operators of the transit system.
“Safety and security are top priorities,” commented Herb Simmons, Chair of the Board of Trustees of St. Clair County Transit District. “This facility, amenities and operations within will combine to better serve transit riders in St. Clair County and across the region’s entire integrated public transit system that encompasses 59 MetroBus routes, 46 miles of MetroLink light rail and 38 Metro Transit Centers in eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois. We are grateful to Governor Pritzker for his foresight and willingness to invest in this resource that will help to positively influence all our local communities.”
This construction project comes on the heels of the completion of the “Transit Stop Transformation Project” at the site. In August of 2021, Citizens for Modern Transit, AARP in St. Louis, St. Clair County Transit District and Metro Transit converted the concrete area between bus bays and MetroLink entrance into an interactive, colorful, engaging space that boasts a vibrant-colored jazz theme, spaces to gather, greenery, shaded seating, canopies and a mural. St. Clair County Transit District has also made parking lot updates and implemented a $71,000 LED lighting program to improve security and cost savings.