Entirely New Blue Line Station Ready to Serve Customers
BOSTON –Tuesday, November 26, 2013— MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey and MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott were joined by local officials to open the new Orient Heights Station in East Boston this morning. Customers began using the new station at the start of service today. The old station was demolished in March to make way for a new state-of-the-art subway station.
In a testament to the coordination and savings that has been achieved following the 2009 Transportation Reform Law, MassDOT had three transportation agencies managing three different projects worked closely together to save a total of more than $4.1 million while completing the work and limiting disruptions to subway service. While work was done to rebuild Orient Heights Station, MassDOT’s Highway Division replaced a Revere Beach Parkway Bridge over the MBTA and State Road and Massport completed the Logan Greenway Connector project.
“The work done to rebuild Orient Heights station being coordinated with the replacement of the Revere Beach Parkway Bridge and the completion of the Logan Greenway Connector along the Blue Line right of way is proof of the great progress that can be achieved using shared services and interagency cooperation,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey.
Orient Heights was originally constructed in 1952, prior to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and was not accessible to all customers. The new station is now fully ADA compliant and features new elevators, improved sidewalks and walkways on both subway platforms and the busway so now all paths of travel are accessible and lead to cross-walks.
“Rebuilding Orient Heights station from the ground up has allowed us to not only improve the environment our customers experience when utilizing the station, but also improve our environmental impact and increase efficiency as well as accessibility for all of our riders,” said MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott.
The new Orient Heights station is able to accommodate six-car trains that allow the Blue Line to carry more passengers and meet an environmental commitment made as part of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project. The station design was also done in accordance with LEED/Sustainability Design Guidelines; with elements including solar panels on canopy roofs to generate 20% of station power needs, energy efficient HVAC system and lighting, and the use of LEED certified and sustainable materials in the new Train Operations Building.
The work done station will not only provide a better customer experience with improvements in security, a new overhead pedestrian bridge, bike racks and other amenities but will allow for more efficient service with the new Train Operations Building on site. The new pick-up/drop-off area removes double parked cars and busses from city streets and provides City of Boston with 3 additional parking spaces.
“Thanks to our investments, including this year’s transportation finance bill, Massachusetts is growing in numerous ways. Our public transportation system is essential to building our neighborhoods, providing for our residents and improving our economy. The new Orient Heights station is a strong step in this direction. I thank the Patrick Administration, Secretary Davey and the local congressional delegation for their work in achieving this important milestone.”
The City of Boston, the MBTA and the East Boston community have combined resources to create and maintain a green space which will service as a gateway to Orient Heights station. The landscape design was presented to the community at several public meetings and the community chose the final concept. The land was owned in part by the MBTA and in part by the City of Boston. By combining the two parcels, a large open space was created. The parcel will run from the Barnes Avenue and Bennington Street Bus loops and over the Scarpa Bridge.
“Now that the Orient Heights Train Station renovation is finished, it is fully accessible to all passengers and represents the final step in the complete transformation of the Blue Line. The upgrades, like the new pedestrian bridge, four elevators and two escalators, allow for everyone to have access to public transportation,” State Representative Carlo P. Basile (D-East Boston) said. “We now have a brand new station that is fully modernized and vastly improved. This is a triumph for the community and will be an asset that the people of Orient Heights will be able to enjoy for many years to come.”
As part of the Orient Heights Station project, the MBTA incorporated new landscape design and plantings. With the assistance of Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina, an agreement was reached with the East Boston community to maintain the space. Local businessman Joe Ruggerio (Ruggerio Funeral Homes) has committed in writing to the City of Boston to provide perpetual maintenance for the space.
Finishing touches on the station will continue through the spring, bringing the total duration of construction to 28 months, including a six and a half month station shutdown. The station shutdown saved over 10 months of construction and over $3 million in costs. The total cost of the project is expected to be $28 million.