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Posted on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 5:10 p.m.

Portions of Blake Transit Center come down as AATA moves ahead with new transit center project

By Ryan J. Stanton

A portion of the Blake Transit Center in downtown Ann Arbor met the wrecking ball on Monday afternoon during a partial demolition of the canopy over the passenger pickup area.

In preparation for construction of a new transit center, crews knocked down the portion of the blue canopy extending east from the building, including its heavy steel and concrete support beams.

Ann Arbor Transportation Authority officials say the actual transit center building, which is oriented toward Fourth Avenue, won't be demolish until after a new transit center — one oriented toward Fifth Avenue — is finished being built by later this fall on another part of the site.

The AATA ceremonially broke ground on the $8.1 million transit center project back in November, but Monday's partial demolition marked the first sign of major construction work.


Steel beams emerge from the Blake Transit Center building where crews knocked off a good portion of the bus bay canopy on Monday afternoon.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Spence Brothers, which has offices in Ann Arbor, is overseeing the construction. Troy Aggregate Carriers Inc. of Sterling Heights provided hauling services on Monday.

AATA officials argue a new Blake Transit Center is necessary to meet growing passenger demands based on data that show ridership has increased more than 60 percent since 1987, with more than 5,000 riders daily and 1.5 million riders annually arriving and departing through the center. Bus traffic also has increased with an hourly average of about 40 buses accessing the facility.

The agency already announced the closure of the transit mall and bus boarding location changes last month. More details are available at

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Mon, Feb 25, 2013 : 5:38 p.m.

Despite all the controversy over the station's cost, it is good that they are beginning to build a new one. The current one has been operating for quite some time, and is becoming more than slightly run down. I have read the plans, and it is designed to be LEED gold standard, which mean that is will have been evaluated by the United States Green Building Council and scored an 80+ on their evaluation, which is quite an impressive goal. I wish they would have made more of an effort to improve on the existing structure and remodeled the existing station, without tearing down so much concrete, but hopefully the new structure will last longer and be more improvable in the future. Hopefully this means is that the AATA will be able to better serve its customers and keep the bus system flowing and that this construction is worth it.

Wolf's Bane

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 2:13 p.m.

Did we need a new transit center? No. Did the city want a new transit center? Yes.

Angry Moderate

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 12:51 a.m.

What a waste. Knocking down perfectly good buildings is the least environmentally-friendly thing you can do.


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 11:48 p.m.

When long has the existing transit center been there?


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 3:28 a.m.

I out lived it buy one year

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 12:17 a.m.


ms 2013

Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 10:42 p.m.

i am so glad that we are getting a brand new building cannot wait to see the new 1 yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

DJ Foley

Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 11:10 p.m.

No more line-ups at the bathroom either. There's a plus!