One of the most frequent complaints about the downtown travel center is the lack of access to restrooms and climate-controlled environment after regular city hours.
Requests for bids on an addition to the Clarence W. Muehlberger Travel Center were sent Sept. 8 with a bid closing date of Sept. 27.
Wichita Falls Traffic and Aviation Director John Burrus said ever since the center opened, people have complained that they were locked out of the building after regular hours and could not use the restrooms. The center serves as an arrival and departure point for both city of Wichita Falls buses and Greyhound buses.
The Greyhound buses have different hours than the city. There are times when the Greyhound buses drop off passengers after the city’s facility has closed for the day.
Burrus said Councilor DeAndra Chenault, District 2, pushed for this addition to become a reality. On at least one occasion, Chenault accompanied bus passengers to a nearby travel stop where they could shelter when it was cold outside.
Burrus said they can pay for this addition by deferring the purchase of a replacement bus.
“We usually budget for one replacement bus per year, but all of our buses are either relatively new or have an engine that is less than a year old,” he said Monday.
Additionally, some Federal Transit Administration grant funds may be used for the project.
The in-fill addition on the building’s southeast corner will include an after-hours, air-conditioned waiting area and one unisex restroom for public access.
The new area is set to blend with aesthetic of the existing structure and will consist mostly of concrete masonry and glass store-front windows.
Materials chosen for the area are supposed to be durable and low maintenance.
Architectural design plans for the original travel center and this addition are by SLA Architects.
Claire Kowalick, a senior journalist for the Times Record News, covers local government, military and MSU Texas. If you have a news tip, contact Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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