U-M, Ann Arbor team up for transportation center

The university and the city of Ann Arbor are teaming up to move forward on development of an Intermodal Transportation Center along Fuller Road, north of the U-M Medical Center.

The center is envisioned as a hub for commuter rail service and bus service with connections to the U-M Medical Center as well as to bicycle and walking trails that run through the area. A key piece of the development is a parking structure to accommodate at least 900 vehicles of which the university would have access to no fewer than 700 spaces.

In a letter sent to city officials, U-M committed to paying most of the cost of a site analysis, survey and concept plan development that are the next steps in gaining overall agreement for use of the site.

The letter, signed by Hank Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations, states the university would pay 75 percent of a total cost not to exceed $450,000.

Ann Arbor city council on Aug. 17 approved in a 9-0 vote a contract with JJR to conduct the study. The work is expected to be completed by mid-October.

Jim Kosteva, director of community relations, says the JJR study is an important analytical step that hopefully can lead to dramatic new options for commuters, patients and visitors, as well as result in benefits for both the community and university.

The first part of what could be an overall $50 million to $60 million development would be the parking deck. It would be built to serve commuters as well as visitors to the U-M's new C. S. Mott Children's Hospital, which is scheduled for completion in mid-2012.