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REAL Screenshot
LAND DEVELOPMENT - REAL Multimodal Facility Civil Engineering 2

The Rural Economic Assistance League (REAL) currently provides bus service encompassing the counties of Aransas, Jim Wells, Brooks, Live Oak, Duval, Refugio, San Patricio, and Bee in South Texas. Real has a ridership of over 200,000 passengers per year, with a fleet of 66 vehicles. Current facilities are udated, and with the continued growth, they have become out of capacity. REAL is planning a new Multimodal Facility in Alice, TX, replacing the current one.

Parra & Co, after a successful completion of the project’s Phase 1 (Proposed Masterplan review), was engaged by Able City once more to provide Civil Engineering services for Phase 2 of the project, as now the funds for the facility have been secured.

The proposed facility includes a 16,964 sq ft Administration Building and a 11,589 sq ft Maintenance Building. The facility will include parking for 120 vehicles, 82 busses, and 22 bicycles.

Parra & Co received the Conceptual Design for the Proposed Facility from the Architect (Able City), and prepared the Site Civil Construction Documents, Stormwater Management Plan, and a Hydrology Report, including the detention basin design. For the Utility Plan, Parra & Co is designing a water line extension.

TRANSIT - El Metro Transit Tiger Grant 1
TRANSIT - El Metro Transit Tiger Grant 2

Parra & Co was engaged by the City of Laredo to prepare a TIGER Grant Application ($12.75M) to be used towards the development of the new Operations & Maintenance Facility of El Metro ($25.7M), located at the intersection of Jacaman and Barlett. Our team prepared a Conceptual Phasing Plan, dividing the proposed facility into 2 phases, as well as potential Cost Reduction and created a Phasing Plan for the overall facility in order to lower costs of phase 1. Using the data provided by El Metro, we obtained a projected cost estimate for the following year. (2017)

Parra & Co wrote the TIGER application on behalf of the City of Laredo and El Metro and tied the application into the City’s comprehensive plan and its coming updates. While this application was not funded, the package was re-purposed and submitted under the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) 5339(b) Discretionary Grant Program in FY16. This submission yielded a $9,875,083 FTA grant award for the construction of the new facility.

As the City was concerned the cash from the grant award may not be readily available, a revised facility plan needed to be considered in order to accommodate a reduced total project budget. The Parra & Co team prepared a scope of work to assist the City in the execution of the grant within the TrAMS system to include concurrence from FTA Region VI in a manner that projected all local investment in the project and maximized the use of the federal funding available.

This project allowed the adjustment of the City’s application according to the reduced amount received by the FTA, the potential land value increase for the facility, and the available matching funds from the City to obtain preliminary approval from FTA to move forward.

TRANSIT - El Metro Transit Google 1
TRANSIT - El Metro Transit Google 3
TRANSIT - El Metro Transit Google 4

Parra & Co provided Project Management and direction between the City of Laredo, El Metro Transit, Google, and the sub-consultant team. Along with the team, Parra & Co provided data creation and formatting services to prepare the GTFS files submitted to Google. Formatting was provided in accordance with Google’s GTFS specifications.

El Metro Transit provides bus service in the City of Laredo, TX. The goal was to have all 22 El Metro Transit Laredo routes schedules available in Google Transit. (Google maps and navigation apps.)

For final delivery, Parra & Co visited with El Metro Transit staff to collect current routes/stops, prepared the schedule, and stops data (GTFS format), and assisted in communications and submittal to Google.

2022 | Project MEND New Headquarters and Fulfillment Center - Owner's Rep

Project MEND is a San Antonio based non-profit that for over 29 years has focused on transforming lives by providing a Medical Equipment Network for those with Disabilities and cannot afford assistive technologies or have gaps in their insurance coverage. Prior to the new headquarters, customers needed to see their caseworkers in Project MEND’S office, to then travel (usually in public transportation) to the warehouse to pick up the equipment. To continue its mission with improved customer access, Project MEND constructed a new headquarters and fulfillment center that co-locates the warehouse and offices together, improving the client experience, and creating the largest medical equipment re-use facility in Texas, and second largest in the U.S.

With a total of 15,000 sqft the new facility is composed of 4,000 sqft of office and conference rooms, and 11,000 sqft of warehouse. The building also supports significant outdoor seating and activity areas that are symbolic of Project MEND’s desire to welcome community and clients in. Parra & Co acted as the owner’s representative, an external third party under Project MEND to help guide the successful delivery of the project. Our goal was to help plan, monitor, and control the overall project while serving as a liaison between Project MEND, Overland Partners (Architect), and the contractor. This project received CDBG Funds, so the procurement of the contractor included: Davis Bacon Act; DBE/MBE/WBE goals; “2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design” (2010 Standards); and equal opportunities obligations for contractors and subcontractors, among other criteria.

Parra & Co co-developed an over-arching Project Management Plan (PMP) with the Architect and the Owner that provided budget and schedule management, progress monitoring, and quality program compliance. It also formed the basis for formal reporting of project progress and status to Project MEND. As such, even on Task Orders of limited scale and complexity, the PMP formed the basis for monitoring and managing the work. Our primary goal from the start was to assist the owner in delivering a project that is within scope, budget and on schedule, while creating a harmonious experience for all of the project team members. This effort concluded with a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony on March 2nd, 2022.

2019 | HEB Buffalo Speedway Curbside Expansion - Civil Engineering

Parra & Co was engaged by HEB to complete a Due Diligence Study and provide Civil Engineering services for the Buffalo Speedway location (Houston 51). The objective was to install a Tomax Door & Sidewalk to the Curbside Pick-Up. 

Our engineers coordinated and attended a pre-development meeting with Planning, Engineering, Drainage, Permitting of the City of Houston and performed a site visit. Parra & Co engaged Dye Enterprises to assist with surveying services. 

Following the Improvement & topographic surveys and the completion of the Due Diligence study, the Parra & Co team provided Site Civil Construction Documents (General Notes, Demolition Plans, Dimensional Control, Grading Plan and Details), Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, Stormwater Management Plan & Drainage Report, as well as administration services.

2021 | San Agustin Cathedral Plaza Rehabilitation & Improvements

Parra & Co in collaboration with Able City and the Diocese of Laredo assisted on the rehabilitation and plaza improvements as part of the San Agustin Plaza Master Plan. 

In 2014, the team began to assess, restore, rehabilitate, and improve Laredo’s most recognizable historic structure, which was originally built in 1872. The focus on the building itself was broadened to include the transitional spaces or plazas to the west and south of the tower. These plazas play a critical role in the experience of the Cathedral’s visitors, and to the urban life playing out in the city around it. 

Parra & Co provided Site Civil and Utility Plans for this project. Given that the project is in downtown Laredo, we worked with the City to determine where the right connections should be. Civil Engineering was completed in 2020 and the construction was finalized in 2021.

This project was awarded the AIA RGV Design Award 2021.

*Photo via Able City.