SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

June 20, 2013

Start date set for T station

Salem: Satellite parking lot will not be ready

Construction of the city’s new commuter rail station, a $37 million facility with a parking garage and pedestrian bridge, will begin next month and is scheduled to be completed by Oct. 1, 2014, MBTA officials announced yesterday.

After years of planning, public meetings and design changes, the Salem project finally has a start date: July 19.

“We’re finally starting construction,” George Doherty, the T’s project manager, told about 60 residents last night at Bentley School.

Parking in both the MBTA and city sections of the commuter rail station, which have a combined 460 surface spaces, will be shut down at the end of the day on Friday, July 19. With the exception of handicapped spaces, there will be no commuter parking at the station for more than 14 months.

The city had hoped to have a satellite lot ready by the time construction started, but Mayor Kim Driscoll said that the hazardous waste cleanup of the Universal Steel lot across from the station is taking longer than expected. The 120-car lot may not be ready until mid-August, she said.

“We’re pushing,” she said. “Believe me, we’re pushing.”

When the Universal Steel lot opens, parking will be free.

MBTA officials are advising motorists to use T parking garages or lots in Beverly, Lynn and Swampscott.

City officials will be preparing information for motorists about available parking in Salem and also are working to find more parking areas.

Parking along Bridge Street, which has been used for years, will continue to be available during construction, although some spaces across from Universal Steel may be taken out of service for a few days due to truck traffic during the cleanup and paving.

Pedestrians and bike riders will be able to use the commuter rail station during construction, although access and bike-rack areas will change. Buses also will continue to pick up and drop off riders at the station.

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