Press Release: Jehlen Expresses Frustration Over Crumbling Conditions at Alewife Garage

Tue, 08/14/2018

BOSTON - On Monday, Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville) joined Sen. Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) and Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington) to ask the Fiscal Management Control Board for immediate action on a long-term solution for the Alewife MBTA station parking garage.
This is the second time this summer Jehlen went before the Board to discuss a MBTA facility that literally is falling down, endangering commuters; the other is the Winchester commuter rail station.
People have reported serious problems in the garage for over a decade. There have been temporary blocks and girders holding up roof sections for years, as well as areas blocked off with clear concrete damage.
A car was damaged by falling concrete in February 2017. A November 2017 report said the garage risked “imminent failure” and recommended “immediate corrective action.” The MBTA solicited bids for the work in July and has now awarded a contract for interim repairs. That contract is for $5.7 million, clearly not more than patch work. A similar emergency repair contract at the much smaller Winchester station in 2010 was for $1 million.
Jehlen said, “We should be fixing these dangerous structures, not just putting on bandaids. Governor Baker is reported as saying we don’t need more funding for transportation infrastructure, and ‘let’s do a better job with the dollars we have.’ It’s the job of the Fiscal Management Control Board to do that, but also to ensure that our constituents and passengers are safe and well-served. The FMCB needs to advocate for adequate funding to make a long-term capital plan that doesn’t waste money on emergency bandaids but fixes serious problems proactively.”
The Alewife station parking garage will be closed again next weekend, and for overnight parking, to enable emergency repairs after another car was damaged by falling concrete last week.