WILMINGTON, MA — At Monday night’s Board of Selectmen Meeting, Town Manager Jeff Hull provided an update on the $180,000 pledged from the state to assist with upgrades to the commuter rail station in North Wilmington.
“I have been informed by Angel Donahue-Rodriguez, Director of Special Projects from the MBTA, that the funds will be transferred from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism to the MBTA for purposes of completing upgrades to the commuter rail platform,” announced Hull in a memo to Selectmen.
“The MBTA has previously committed to paying for a platform that was patterned after a platform at one of their rail stations on the south shore. The final scope of work remains to be finalized by the MBTA,” continued Hull. “Components that the Town is seeking to be covered by the grant funds will be approximately 800′ feet of black vinyl fencing, pedestrian lighting, installation of a sidewalk extending from the rail platform and connecting with the sidewalk on Middlesex Avenue, and a callbox.”
Work on the project is not expected to begin until late 2020, according to Hull.
Wilmington’s state legislative delegation — Senator Bruce Tarr, State Representative Dave Robertson, and State Representative Ken Gordon — was able to secure funding in response from the town’s concerns over emergency vehicles being delayed due to trains blocking the roadway.
“Through tremendous, focused collaboration and bipartisan legislative action, we are now poised to take substantial action to not only make the North Wilmington station safer, but also more welcoming, efficient and accessible for MBTA riders,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester) in a press release earlier this year.
“Working with the T to resolve this issue has been a huge concern of Senator Tarr, Representative Gordon, and myself. With this cooperation with the T, it is my hope that this situation will be fixed with the train removed from blocking the crossing and a new, improved station constructed in a way that saves money and solves our issue,” added Representative Dave Robertson (D- Tewksbury). “It is also my hope that any leftover money we allocated from the state to fix this may be used to improved parking or other elements of the station, making it more attractive to commuters wishing to avoid traffic and improving the service of the T.”
“I’m glad that together with the MBTA we were able to come up with a solution to this public safety hazard that will increase safety and accessibility for everyone in Wilmington. It has been an honor to work alongside Senator Tarr and Rep. Robertson whose tireless work helped move this project forward,” noted Representative Ken Gordon (D- Bedford).
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