Building a Greener Future for the Quad-Cities

Posted Online: Nov. 29, 2012, 1:57 pm
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Press release submitted by Mark McLaughlin

IA/IL QUAD-CITIES – Bush Construction of Davenport, IA, has begun work on the new MetroLINK Transit Maintenance Facility, a $33 million project in Rock Island, IL. The structure will be a green building, and A.J. Loss, President of Bush Construction, believes this project may inspire and encourage other area businesses to choose sustainable construction as an option for their future projects.

"Green buildings save money in heating, air-conditioning, electricity and water usage costs. They can offer incredible benefits for a building's efficiency and for the environment," said Loss. "They are also more comfortable and healthier for the people who use them."

A rendering of the MetroLINK Transit Maintenance Facility
The new MetroLINK Transit Maintenance Facility is planned to be a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certified Building. The 150,000-square-foot, one-story structure will be located at 4501 4th Ave., Rock Island, Illinois, in Columbia Park, where a former Farmall plant used to stand.

Quad Cities MetroLINK is the primary public transportation system of the Illinois Quad-Cities, and has been a sustainable leader in the community for more than a decade, through the active use of clean technologies and infrastructure.

"We are happy to be working with Bush Construction on this project, since they have considerable expertise in sustainable construction," said Jennifer Garrity, MetroLINK's Manager of Administration. "Like MetroLINK, Bush Construction is dedicated to a greener future." The new facility will be completed in early 2014.

According to Loss, the structure will incorporate cutting-edge green building elements, so that it saves energy and functions in harmony with the environment. "We have seven LEED Accredited Professionals on-staff, including myself," he added, "and the rest of our staff is knowledgeable about sustainable construction. In addition to the green expertise that will go into the MetroLINK project, we will also incorporate an advanced safety regimen."

MetroLINK's current maintenance facility, built in 1983, is located near the new site at 2929 5th Ave., Rock Island. While the current facility can hold up to 57 buses, the new building will more than double that number, with a top capacity of 120 vehicles. The new building will feature a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station, since 70% of the MetroLINK fleet runs on natural gas. This will allow MetroLINK to maintain its fleet in one location while still allowing for growth well into the future.

According to Tom Quinn, Bush Construction's Project Manager for the MetroLINK facility, their contract covers everything in the construction process except the building concrete, the structural steel, and the compressed natural-gas system. "Those will be covered by other contracts," Quinn said.

Bush Construction will serve as the prime contractor for the general construction bid package, while the Weitz Company, Des Moines, Iowa, will act as the construction manager.

"Outstanding Green Features"
"The new building will include many outstanding green features," said Quinn. "LEED Silver is the minimum rating for this project – we're not accepting anything less."

Throughout the project, Quinn noted, Bush Construction will recycle at least 75 percent of the construction waste. "Wood will go in one dumpster, cardboard in another, and on down the line with everything that can be reclaimed," he said. "It means some additional work, but that's to be expected. Green building isn't the easiest route, but it's well worth the effort."

Quinn noted that the facility will include a bio-swale – a place for the storage of diverted storm water, so that it can be reabsorbed into the surrounding environment, as opposed to allowing it to gush into the sewer system. "Big rain-storms can overtax a city's sewer system, and the bio-swale will make sure that the new MetroLINK facility won't add to that concern," he said. "Also, solar energy will be used to heat water for the facility's bus-wash system."

Other green elements of the structure will include:
Photovoltaic solar array – a linked collection of solar panels (funded by a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation)
Variable refrigerant flow system
White thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofing
High-efficiency window glazing
Lighting control strategies

No Fear of OSHA Here
"With this project, we expect to establish a partnership with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as we did with our recent St. Ambrose University residence project," Quinn said. "Bush Construction will work closely with an OSHA representative who will make safety suggestions throughout the run of the project."

Quinn observed that many construction companies might be hesitant to work this closely with OSHA. "Some firms might be afraid of what OSHA will find on their jobsites," he said. "We see it as an opportunity to continue learning from their highly trained, experienced safety staff."

In addition to Loss and Quinn, other members of the Bush Construction team who will serve on the MetroLINK project are Brian Olson, Construction Superintendent; Marlayna Millizer, Project Engineer; and Stacey Rensberger and Amy Simler, Project Coordinators.

"We look forward to collaborating with the staff members at MetroLINK on this project," said Loss. "They are consummate professionals and together, we will create a facility that will benefit the Quad-Cities for decades."

Recently, MetroLINK was named as the 2012 Outstanding Public Transportation System for all agencies in North America carrying between 1 million and 4 million passengers annually. MetroLINK carried 3.5 million trips in fiscal year 2011.

For more information on Bush Construction, call (563) 344-3791 or visit To find out more about MetroLINK, call (309) 788-3360 or visit


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