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Bob Hope Airport $120M transit center gets greenlight

Given Burbank's OK, airport authority will take bids on project in spring next year.

August 28, 2010|By Gretchen Meier, gretchen.meier@latimes.com

After two public hearings and lengthy discussions over the course of a month, the Burbank City Council has approved the $120-million transit center for Bob Hope Airport.

The original proposal had been postponed to allow city officials to clarify the city's role in approving landscaping and so-called "green street" features.

The transportation hub will consolidate rental car facilities and bus transit on the current airport property, a covered moving walkway to the airport terminal and the second compressed natural gas fueling station in Burbank.

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority has already entered into contracts with two firms to draw up design and construction documents.

"The next step is actual, working construction documents," airport spokesman Victor Gill said. "[The airport authority] should be ready to go out to bid in spring 2011."

The council also approved the airport authority's request to acquire land owned by Union Pacific that is currently being used as a parking lot. The authority was granted city easements for the location at 4500 Empire Ave. for a planned pedestrian bridge over Empire Avenue.

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"The authority is gratified to have the city's endorsement to move ahead with this project, which will bring significant enhancements and efficiencies to the traveling public while reducing traffic impacts of the airport on Burbank residents," said airport authority President Frank Quintero in a statement.

Currently, the airport authority must secure other financing for the "Empire Bridge" that will connect the transportation center structure with the train station.

Airport officials expect a December 2012 opening date for the Regional Intermodal Transportation Center, but do not yet have completion dates for each phase of the project.

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