Bomel Construction: New 600-stall structure expected to ease parking crunch in city’s Old Towne district

March 04, 2019





Bomel Construction: New 600-stall structure expected to ease parking crunch in city’s Old Towne district




ORANGE, Calif.––During a recent grand opening ceremony, officials with the Orange County Transportation Authority and the City of Orange welcomed the five-level Old Towne West Metrolink Parking Structure recently completed by general contractor Bomel Construction Co. Inc. and construction management firm Hill International Inc.



Not as easy as it looks’

“I wanted to thank Bomel Construction and Hill for not only your work on the project­­––it’s outstanding­––but for the sponsorship of today’s event,” OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson said to an audience of about 200 gathered on the garage’s south side.

“Your work, your planning, the teamwork to get it done in a tight constrained space is not as easy as it looks,” he added. “You guys did an outstanding job. Thanks for keeping us moving in the right direction.”

Built on the west side of North Lemon Street and south side of West Maple Avenue, the Old Towne West Metrolink Parking Structure is east of the Orange Metrolink station and OCTA bus depot and west of the Circle retail district. The $29.5-million garage is expected to reduce the parking shortage for rail commuters and visitors to the area. The 608-stall garage embraces the charm of the Old Towne Orange Historical District, a one-mile-square area that contains many of the original structures built shortly after the city’s incorporation in 1888. Old Towne was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1997.

Generously clad from roofline to street level in brick veneer and sporting 30 window openings, the garage resembles a modern version of a large fruit packing plant that populated the city in the early 1900s. Choate Parking Consultants was the project architect.

With two subterranean levels, an at-grade level and two decks above ground, 500 of the garage’s stalls are reserved for Metrolink commuters. The balance of stalls is intended for visitors to Old Towne, a neighborhood of many 100-year-old homes––some meticulously restored––and shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants.

While it looks like a classic throwback to a bygone era, the parking structure is equipped with such 21st Century features as electric vehicle charging stations, rooftop solar energy panels and two dozen bicycle lockers.

Small site on busy block

The construction phase was far from an easy ride. Some of the challenges included unearthing and storing buried railroad tracks found during site preparation; working on a snug site bordering multiple businesses and Chapman University; and sharing the streets with a constant caravan of cars traveling through the neighborhood and OCTA busses heading to the depot a block away.

A 22-foot-deep excavation to accommodate two subterranean levels put extra pressure on workers who had to dig and support a huge hole while not disturbing neighbors. The project team placed seismic monitors to measure vibration around the site.

“Before we started, we had to make sure nothing would be damaged while we’re digging and shoring because we were literally right up against businesses and homes,” said Bert Williamson, Bomel Construction’s project manager.

In addition to Williamson, the Bomel project team included Kasey Shay, project executive; Dave Mosham, project superintendent; Ronnie Theroux, project engineer; and Duowei Li, assistant project engineer.

‘On time and within budget’

Shawn Benedict, senior construction manager for Hill International, was impressed with Bomel Construction’s performance.

“Bomel Construction was a valued partner in the success of the Old Towne West Metrolink Parking Structure,” he said following the grand opening ceremony.

“The ambitious project required a high level of collaboration among the project team that included City of Orange stakeholders, OCTA and Bomel Construction.  Bomel’s experience and knowledge of parking structures helped overcome many of the challenges the team faced and resulted in the project being completed on time and within budget.”

In addition to erecting parking structures of various sizes at mass transit stations in Covina, Fullerton, Irvine, San Bernardino and Tustin, Bomel has a long history of success in Orange, having completed multiple garages for rapidly expanding Chapman University.

The Old Towne West Metrolink Parking Structure was funded by the city of Orange, Measure M, State Transportation Improvement Program and Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program funds. Approved by more than 70% of voters, Measure M is Orange County’s half-cent sales tax to fund transportation investments.

OCTA Chairman Tim Shaw, the opening ceremony’s final speaker, expressed his pleasure with the project’s execution.

“The good news is this project is actually coming in below budget,” he said. “That’s a testament to the great work of everyone involved. OCTA is very pleased with the results.”


ABOUT BOMEL CONSTRUCTION: Established in 1970, Irvine, Calif.-based Bomel Construction Co. Inc., widely regarded as the dean of design-build parking structure construction in the western United States, is one of the largest concrete contractors in the nation. Bomel Construction currently serves as the design-build general contractor for the largest parking structure under construction in California, a 6,500-stall garage scheduled to open this year. In addition to its award-winning parking structure portfolio, Bomel is a one-stop source for all concrete construction needs. The company maintains a highly skilled staff for its in-house structural, architectural and site concrete divisions. Bomel works directly for property owners, developers and general contractors. Its portfolio of work includes a wide range of projects built at large, well-known casino-resorts, shopping malls, office buildings, mass transit centers, airports, universities and community colleges.  For more information: Bomel Construction Co. Inc., 96 Corporate Park, Irvine, CA 92606. Phone: 714-921-1660. Website: