Construction is underway on a $12.2 million expansion to Houston's TranStar facility. TranStar is used for emergency situations such as hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, major events or ice storms.
"TranStar and the emergency operations center is a regional collaborative effort when it comes to transportation and emergency management," said Francisco Sanchez, public information officer for the Harris County Office of Emergency Management.
TranStar is a collaboration between four government agencies—Harris County, the city of Houston, METRO and the Texas Department of Transportation—that aim to provide transportation and emergency management for the Greater Houston area.
"Those are critically essential to each other during major emergencies, so it's the perfect place for us to be together under one roof," Sanchez said.
The TranStar facility off Katy Road near I-10 and Loop 610 typically holds 125 people on a daily basis. When there is an emergency or major event, there could be between 400 and 500 people in and out of the building 24/7, TranStar spokeswoman Dinah Massie said.
The expansion will add 26,000 square feet of additional new floor space and includes 11,000 square feet of renovations to the existing part of the building, making more room for the hundreds of people who need to access the facility during an emergency.
"When the building was completed in 1996, at that time no one had developed infrastructure for emergency response like what we have today," Massie said.
The expansion is expected to be completed in September.