4 things to know about the new downtown Austin MetroRail station

The downtown Austin MetroRail station on Fourth Street was originally built to be a temporary platform.

The downtown Austin MetroRail station on Fourth Street was originally built to be a temporary platform.

Design of Capital Metro’s new downtown Austin MetroRail station should be complete by the end of 2017.

The station will replace the temporary platform the agency built on Fourth Street adjacent to the Austin Convention Center. The new station will have three tracks and boarding platforms.

Capital’s Metro’s board of directors approved an interlocal agreement Monday with the city of Austin outlining the responsibilities of both parties on the site located on Fourth Street between Trinity and Red River streets. The City Council approved the ILA at its May 4 meeting. Here are four things to know about the new downtown Austin MetroRail station:

1. Most of the cost of the station will be covered by a $22 million Texas Department of Transportation grant.

Downtown Austin MetroRail station One of three proposed designs for the new MetroRail platform includes a series of canopies that would protect passengers from rain.[/caption]

In June 2014, TxDOT awarded Capital Metro a $50 million grant. Of that funding, $28 million will be spent on the purchase of four new rail cars and the remaining $22 million will help build the new station.

The cost of the new station, however, will exceed $22 million, although a total project cost is not yet known, according to Capital Metro. This is mostly because of a $6 million storm drain upgrade that is required. The agency and the city are splitting the cost of the project.

The council has not yet approved waiving any permit fees required for the project.

2. The city and Capital Metro are still working out details for bathrooms on-site.

An initial list of wants indicated a desire for having public restrooms, but Capital Metro Project Manager Marcus Guerrero said the platform does not have room for bathrooms.

“We would like to look at adding restrooms elsewhere in the public park, or if the fire station relocates, that would be a great spot,” he said.

3. The new platform will change traffic patterns.

Fourth Street is currently a one-way street open to traffic. The city would close the street to traffic and restrict Fourth between Red River and Trinity streets to bicycle and pedestrian use only. Traffic on Neches Street by the Hilton Austin hotel will end in a cul-de-sac.

To alleviate some of these issues, the city will convert Fifth Street from Brazos Street to I-35 to two-way traffic. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer.

Downtown Austin MetroRail station The new MetroRail platform and public plaza will be located on Fourth Street between Trinity and Red River streets.[/caption]

4. The new station will serve more than transit users.

A public plaza will be located west of the rail platform near Trinity adjacent to Brush Square Park. Although the plaza will mainly facilitate pedestrian access to downtown, it could have other uses.

“It could be [used] for public events like a farmers market or food trucks or just public space to sit down and have a cup of coffee,” Guerrero said. “It’s a multiuse platform.”
By Amy Denney

Managing Editor, Austin metro

Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and later senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She is now managing editor for the 10 publications in the Central Texas area from Georgetown to New Braunfels.



MOST RECENT

Williamson County Commissioners Court will discuss allocating the remaining CARES Act funding during its Dec. 14 meeting. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County officials discuss how to spend remaining federal coronavirus relief funding

County Treasurer Scott Heselmeyer said the county has approximately $18 million remaining of the $93.4 million Williamson County received from the CARES Act.

The Gringo's location in Katy is pictured. A new Conroe location is planned for late 2022. (Courtesy NewQuest Properties)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Gringo's restaurant confirmed for Conroe Waterfront Center; Austin’s longest-standing H-E-B to be rebuilt and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 7.

A child gets a COVID-19 shot in November, shortly after the Food and Drug Administration authorized use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 through 11. (Courtesy Dell Children’s Medical Center)
Travis County, Austin Public Health report uptick in COVID-19 vaccine demand

Officials said that booster and pediatric shots are driving the surge.

Hafedh Azaiez was previously superintendent at Donna ISD in South Texas. (Courtesy Round Rock ISD)
Round Rock ISD superintendent shares letter to staff regarding 'increasingly raucous' meetings

A letter shared with district faculty and staff by Round Rock ISD Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez was made public by Place 4 trustee Cory Vessa via social media Dec. 3.

Austin Habitat for Humanity ReStore opened its Lake Creek location on Nov. 4. (Courtesy Austin Habitat for Humanity)
Austin Habitat for Humanity ReStore opens in Northwest Austin

The home improvement store and donation center sells new and gently used household items, building supplies and furniture.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland and US Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta announced the lawsuit against Texas on Dec. 6. (Screenshot courtesy of Department of Justice)
U.S. Dept. of Justice lawsuit alleges Texas' redistricting maps discriminate against voters of color

The suit alleges that the Texas Legislature redrew the maps to reduce voters of colors' influence on elections.

City and Austin EMS Association representatives discussed a pay increase on the third day of negotiations (Darcy Sprague, Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin EMS Association lays out argument for $27 per hour starting pay

The increase would represent almost a 42% increase in starting salary for EMS medics.

Tewbeleaux's Cajun Grill opened in Northwest Austin on Nov. 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Tewbeleaux's Cajun Grill opens first Central Texas location in Northwest Austin

The sports bar and grill's menu features a variety of bayou-style Cajun cuisine, including catfish etouffee, jambalaya and shrimp as well as wings, burgers, sandwiches and tacos.

The 6.5-mile project will be an important connection for the pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks, according to city officials. (Courtesy Austin Public Works)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: City of Austin begins design of urban trail on abandoned rail corridor; 12 things to do in and around New Braunfels this holiday season and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 6.

Read here to find out about new businesses coming to North Austin's open-air mall The Domain. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Gucci storefront, Razer immersive experience coming to The Domain in early 2022

Two retailers are opening locations at The Domain in spring 2022. Read more about them here. 

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: State could take over AISD school board if poorly-rated campus does not improve; new furniture store to open in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 3.