SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

April 11, 2014

Delays increase cost of MBTA garage

BEVERLY — More delays have increased the cost of the MBTA parking garage, although the agency says the exact amount has yet to be calculated.

The 500-car garage was originally scheduled to be ready in December. That date was pushed back to May, and now MBTA officials say it won’t open until July or August.

Construction has been delayed by a number of factors, including the harsh winter weather, according to T officials. They also cited “unforeseen conditions,” such as a retaining wall that needed to be reinforced and the closing of some soil disposal sites in Massachusetts.

Those closings have forced workers to truck contaminated soil to out-of-state facilities, increasing the cost of the project over its original $34.1 million budget.

MBTA spokesperson Kelly Smith said the extra cost will be calculated in the next few weeks, “but it is not expected to be significant.”

Smith said the contractor, Suffolk Construction, will be responsible for some of the increased costs. That amount will also be determined soon, she said.

The MBTA and the state and federal government are paying the majority of the cost of the garage. The city is contributing $500,000.

Construction of the garage began in February 2013. It is being built on the site of the former Beverly Auto Wrecking and has required the removal of several thousand cubic yards of contaminated soil.

City officials worked for years to bring a garage to the Beverly train depot, one of the busiest commuter rail stations in the state. The garage will have four levels and a covered walkway leading to the station.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

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