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Roving repairs mean Alewife garage to have 20% fewer spaces tomorrow

MassDOT reports that the total number of spaces at the Alewife garage will once again be down 500 spaces tomorrow as crews roam the station making "spot repairs" following yesterday's plunge of some concrete onto a car.

While the location of the spot repairs will shift within the garage, the repair work will continue to require the temporary net reduction of approximately 500 parking spaces.

While work remains ongoing, the MBTA is ensuring a path of travel is maintained for customers to access the remainder of the garage that is open for use.

The MBTA is in the process of developing a long-term plan for the garage, and in early July, solicited bids for an Alewife Garage Structural Repairs contract.

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That parking garage and station are built on a swamp. That garage sinks an inch every few years. Eventually it will just sink into the land.

MBTA knows this. Alewife Garage is suppose to have more floors above its current top floor. In 1988 when it was built, they realized the land (swamp) could not hold the weight.

There's still talk about making it bigger and fixing the sinking issue...

Voting closed 2

The T has HUGE... tracks of land.

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But another, newer building hasn't sunk as much, yet.

I suppose the cracks in Alewife from sinking allowed water infiltration, rusted rebar, and fracturing when the water freezes. Naturally, cracks aren't sealed immediately by the MBTA because that might preserve taxpayer investment.

Voting closed 3

There's still talk about making it bigger and fixing the sinking issue...

Alternatively, this would give us more room to park once the lower floors disappear into the swamp.

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Alewife station was built on a toxic waste site formerly owned by WR Grace and many former hardworking MBTA employees have complained that this toxicity has contributed to their ill health and in some cases cancer.

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Rumors take on the veneer of truth when there is little evidence either way.

The WR Grace site is in a different place - not there.

Sad Fact: breathing diesel and automotive exhaust all day can cause lifelong ill health, too.

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On September 8, 1980 Esme Murphy a reporter for the Harvard Crimson wrote the following
"Harvard station isn't the only place where the MBTA has run into unexpected construction troubles. Recently, the Alewife station crews dug up soil in a W.R. Grace and Co. chemical landfill. Going undetected, the acidic soil would have eventually eroded any construction on the site. However after months of negotiations, the MBTA and the chemical company finally settled. They are now jointly neutralizing and removing more than 10,000 cubic feet of contaminated soil, but the bargaining slowed the construction for weeks."

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Alewife station has a headhouse on the East side of Rt. 2, adjacent to an old WR Grace facility.

The WR Grace facility was directly to the north of that headhouse (parking lot you see now): https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3963486,-71.1402336,343m/data=!3m1!1e3

The dumping area is not the same parcel that the Garage and dropoff and busway are on. Only the east end of the station is in that area.

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When I got in at about 7 am, both levels 2 and 3 were roped off, although there were cars parked beyond the barriers (I guess they were there before this...debacle). That sure seems like more than a 20% reduction.

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