Worcester Regional Transit Authority


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WRTA faces big price tag for site cleanup

Full and original article posted on Telegram & Gazette

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority is anticipating a roughly $10 million price tag for a contractor to remove 45,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil before construction can move forward on a new dispatch center and garage on Quinsigamond Avenue.

That price is an estimate, said WRTA Administrator Stephen F. O’Neil, adding that the agency has yet to accept bids for the project. He said the site is in bad shape, with contaminated soil between 1 and 12 feet below the surface of just about the entire 11-acre lot.

“It’s more than what we expected,” he said after an Advisory Board’s Building Committee meeting on Tuesday morning.

The authority will be issuing a final environmental report by early August and hopes to attract three or four credible bids by the end of the summer.

Last summer, contractors told the city council that the work could total up to $15 million.

The city has secured $2.1 million from the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs as well as $14 million from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation that will go toward environmental cleanup and enhancements like solar panels.

He estimates that it will take four or five months for the environmental work to be completed. Actual construction will take about a year-and-a-half, Mr. O’Neil said, with the building slated to open in spring 2016.

The WRTA bought the property for $1.5 million from NStar last year. It had been home to a manufactured gas plant from 1870 to 1969.

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