WRTA breaks ground for its new Maintenance and Operations Facility
For Immediate Release: June 6, 2014
Stephen O’Neil, Administrator, Worcester Regional Transit Authority, (508) 453-3403
WORCESTER _ On Friday, June 6, Federal, state and local officials, as well as members of the public attended the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Worcester Regional Transit Authority’s (WRTA) Maintenance and Operations Facility, located at 42 Quinsigamond Avenue, Worcester.
“This is another milestone for the WRTA,” said WRTA Administrator Stephen O’Neil. “In May of 2013, we officially opened our 14,000 square foot Transportation Hub, a multi-million dollar Federal and state funded intermodal project that gives a centralized transportation facility and enhanced transportation system to the City of Worcester and the surrounding region. Today, we are taking the next strategic step in bringing more efficiencies in transportation to the region with a more functional and comprehensive Maintenance and Operations Facility.”
The new facility is on 11 acres of land in a manufacturing zone and will replace the WRTA’s obsolete 85 year old facility located at 287 Grove Street. It is one-half mile closer to the WRTA’s Transportation Hub when compared to the Grove Street location, assisting in a quicker response time. The proposed building footprint is 150,682 square feet, including bus storage, maintenance, administrative offices, operations dispatching, and parking. Construction is scheduled to begin this month with anticipated completion in early 2016.
U.S. Congressman James O. McGovern led the array of Federal, state and local speakers at the event.
“This new state-of-the-art facility will replace a woefully obsolete one and will bring economic development and new jobs into the Canal District,” McGovern said.
Other speakers at the Groundbreaking Ceremony included: Mary Beth Mello, Regional Administrator, Region 1, Federal Transit Administration; Beverly A. Scott, PhD, MBTA General Manager and MassDOT Rail and Transit Administrator; Senator Michael O. Moore; State Representative Daniel M. Donahue; Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr.; Frederick C. Rushton, Worcester City Councilor-at-Large, speaking on behalf of Mayor Joseph Petty; Sarai Rivera, Worcester City Councilor, District Four; Phillip P. Palmieri, Worcester City Councilor, District Two; Tim Murray, President and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce; William Lethola, WRTA Advisory Board Chair; and Kenneth Kephart, Financial Secretary/Business Agent Amalgamated Transit Union Local 22.
The project will assist the neighborhood by revitalizing a blighted and vacant site and bringing over 120 construction jobs and over 150 permanent and part-time jobs to the area.
Partnership was a key component of this project and was touted again and again by officials. From fiscal partnerships to neighborhood partnership, the theme of the morning was working together.
“Organized labor working hand-in-hand with the WRTA is something to be truly proud of,” McGovern said, including a thank you to the neighborhood for assisting in helping to bring the project to fruition. “This is a cause for celebration.”
“We know how to get it together and work as a team,” Rivera said. “This project allowed the community to have their voices be heard.”
“The WRTA reached out to the community and they made sure this community was a part of this project,” said State Representative Donahue.
Kephart added, “None of this would be possible without the people riding the bus.”
Estimated cost for the project is $60 million, with $39 million in funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), $16 million in combined funding from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), as well as proceeds from the sale of 287 Grove Street. Additionally, the project is receiving funding through the Urbanized Area Formula Program (5307). This program makes Federal resources available to urban areas and to Governors for transit capital and operating assistance in urbanized areas and for transportation related planning.
“We (FTA) knew we were dealing with a partner (WRTA) we could count on and we were so impressed,” said Mello. “The WRTA will have a great facility and we will be there with them along the way.”
“This has been about partnerships,” Dr Scott said. “This is an absolutely phenomenal project. We are proud to be a part of it.”
The contactor for the project is Skanska USA.
“Today’s groundbreaking marks an exciting milestone for the Worcester Regional Transit Authority and the Worcester community overall,” said Steve Eustis, Senior Vice President at Skanska USA in Boston. “Once complete, the new, environmentally-friendly facility will transform a previously inactive site into a productive space that will improve daily transportation for residents and visitors. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the WRTA to help improve the efficiency and overall sustainability of Worcester’s transportation system.”
Project Manager for the construction project is CDR Maguire; the Architect and Engineer is STV. The WRTA is using the CM at Risk construction methodology per Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 149A.
The Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) is a regional transit system that services the City of Worcester and the surrounding 37 communities in the Central Massachusetts area with a bus fleet that includes diesel-electric hybrid buses and electric buses. For more information, visit the WRTA website at www.therta.com.
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