Pittsburgh — Michael Baker International, as part of the Pond | Michael Baker International JV, was selected by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) to design a state-of-the-art regional transportation center in the LaVilla area. The $40 million combined mass transit hub will improve the flow of traffic by integrating multiple modes of transportation, including local and regional bus networks, taxis, rental car services and any future rail service. The urban plaza will also feature a large courtyard with mixed-use retail opportunity.

Pond | Michael Baker’s innovative and progressive JAXIS design presents a shared vision for a modern transit facility that sets the stage for future development in the area. In addition to uniting disjointed transportation entities, the design accommodates and encourages active modes of transportation. Widened sidewalks and new walking and bike paths linked to the existing roadway system will provide convenient access to the JAXIS building, surrounding neighborhoods and the historic convention center.

Skyway Terrace, a raised outdoor public space between the second floor of JAXIS and the existing elevated station, will provide a vibrant shared space where visitors can relax and enjoy views of the Jacksonville skyline. The Terrace is the future home for restaurants, outdoor seating, public art displays and a variety of community events and gatherings.

“Our team of multi-discipline professionals has crafted a context-sensitive design that will dramatically increase the capacity and value of the city’s transit network,” said David Tudryn, Michael Baker’s director of rail+transit architecture. “The new mobility hub is a bold urban statement that reflects its civic importance as a gateway to the region and a catalyst for future revitalization in the area.”

The functional and full-service design will serve hundreds of thousands of travelers expected to pass by and through the new center each day. Pond | Michael Baker’s JAXIS design introduces guided portals called gateway features to ease traffic congestion by smoothly transitioning a high volume of fast-moving vehicles into a network of neighborhood streets and transit drop-off points. The addition of new gateway features will help to create more predictable traffic flow patterns, allowing for seamless connections to the high capacity I-95 and I-10 roadways.

The Pond | Michael Baker JV will provide full transit architecture and MEP, urban planning, construction administration, civil engineering, transportation engineering, landscape architecture and site design services on the project.

Construction of the facility is anticipated to begin in early 2017 and the project is expected to be completed by 2019.