, Salem, MA

January 23, 2014

Parking garage behind schedule


---- — BEVERLY — The parking garage under construction next to the train depot is five months behind schedule and will not be ready until May, according to MBTA officials.

The 500-car garage was originally scheduled to open in December but has been delayed by “unforeseen conditions,” MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in an email.

“It appears that engineers should have been more conservative while developing a schedule for the project,” Pesaturo said. “The original schedule left little or no room for any aberrations within the various elements of the complex project.”

Pesaturo said the unforeseen conditions included a retaining wall that required underpinning and the discovery of a “more extensive hazardous material disposal.”

Construction of the garage began in November 2012. It is being built at the site of the former Beverly Auto Wrecking on Pleasant Street.

According to an environmental report in July, the original cleanup plan estimated that up to 5,000 cubic yards of soil would have to be excavated and taken off site. It was then discovered that an additional 4,000 cubic yards of “unsuitable and contaminated soil” would also have to be removed.

Pesaturo said the delay will not increase the cost of the $34 million project.

Pesaturo said the project has also been slowed by snow and “bitterly cold” conditions that made it difficult to pour concrete.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or