OIL CITY, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Venango County, and the Crawford Area Transportation Authority (CATA) Monday marked the opening of the Venango County Multimodal Transit Facility in downtown Oil City.
The $10 million, 25,000-square-foot facility was constructed on the former PennDOT District 1 parking lot along Elm and Duncomb streets in Oil City. It features administrative offices and vehicle maintenance, storage and wash facilities for Venango County’s public transit system, as well as space for PennDOT’s fleet maintenance operations.
“Public transit is available in every county in Pennsylvania,” Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation Jennie Granger said. “It connects people to their communities, their jobs and their daily activities. It is important we continue to invest in those things for the future.”
The completion of the transit hub enables the relocation and consolidation of bus operations, which were formerly run out of the local airport, and creates a centrally located facility for the fleet of 25 vehicles and 33 employees to work out of Oil City – Venango County’s most populous community.
“The project has been a true community partnership for PennDOT, Venango County, CATA, and the City of Oil City,” District 1 Executive Brian McNulty said. “We are proud to see the construction phase drawing to a close, but know the collaboration between these groups will continue well into the future as we share this space and a dedication to serving the public at the highest level possible.”
Groundwork for the project was completed in 2017 when the former City of Oil City parking garage between Elm and Seneca streets was demolished. The deteriorated structure had been closed since 2011 due to safety concerns.
This made space for the construction of a new parking lot off Elm and Seneca streets in 2018. Along with spaces for PennDOT employees and the public, the new lot features a bus shelter, rain gardens, street lighting, a bicycle fix-it station, and sidewalks.
A new connecting street, known as Clifford Street, was also built between Elm and Seneca streets to facilitate the future closure of a portion of Elm Street near Duncomb Street.
The next phase of the project started with the creation of a new traffic pattern on Seneca Street. A new traffic island was built at the intersection of Seneca and Clifford streets. Pavement markings were updated along Seneca Street to allow for two-way traffic between Clifford Street and Duncomb Street. The traffic signals at the intersection of Seneca Street and Duncomb Street were deactivated and stop signs were installed.
Construction of the facility started in early November 2019 and the building was completed in April 2021. CATA, which administers the Venango County transit system, moved into the building in early May. Additional external work, including landscaping and parking lot paving, is expected to be completed by end of May.
The project was funded through the Federal Transit Administration (80 percent), PennDOT Bureau of Public Transportation (19 percent), and Venango County (1 percent). The contract cost is $10 million.
The contractors on the facility are Hudson Construction, Inc. of Hermitage, PA; Renick Brothers Construction Co. of Slippery Rock, PA; Wm. T. Spaeder Co., Inc. of Erie, PA; and Westmoreland Electric Services, LLC of Tarrs, PA. Johnson Mirmiran and Thompson (JMT) and Michael Baker International provided design and construction management support, respectively.