SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 2, 2012

MBTA stations to lose 325 spaces

The Salem and Beverly commuter rail stations, two of the busiest in the MBTA system, are losing more than 300 parking spaces on Monday.

The T announced yesterday that it will reduce parking at the Salem station by about 225 spaces to begin archaeological fieldwork that is part of required environmental permitting for the new MBTA garage. The spaces won’t be available for six to eight weeks, the T said.

It put signs up at the station this week announcing the plans.

Also on Monday, the MBTA will close its 100-space lot on Court Street near the Beverly train station to begin construction of a 500-car parking garage. That closing was announced at an Oct. 19 public meeting.

Although it wasn’t planned this way, the two busy parking lots are being affected on the same day to keep the long-awaited Salem and Beverly station construction projects on schedule, the T said.

In Salem, the MBTA plans to build a 715-space garage as part of a $37 million station upgrade. Work is scheduled to begin in the spring.

“The work is being performed simultaneously in order to satisfy the schedule commitments made to the public for each project,” MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo wrote yesterday in an email.

“The MBTA apologizes for this temporary inconvenience while we work to provide improved facilities in both Beverly and Salem.”

Although the Beverly parking lot closing has been known for a few weeks, the Salem decision was announced to the general public only yesterday due to unforeseen scheduling issues, officials said.

The MBTA received approval just days ago from the Massachusetts Historical Commission to excavate and document the historic Salem roundhouse, which stood on the site of the Salem station a half-century ago and the remains of which are buried under the current parking lot.

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