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Last Wednesday, August 8, a chunk of concrete fell from the Alewife Station parking garage, damaging a car but fortunately no people.

Surprise?  It shouldn't have been.  Another car was damaged in February 2017.  People have been complaining about the garage for over a decade.  A 2011 report to the T told of deteriorating conditions. 


There have been temporary hydraulic lifts holding up roof sections for years, as well as areas blocked off with clear concrete damage.

A November report said the garage risked “imminent failure” and recommended “immediate corrective action.” The T solicited bids for the work in July and last week awarded a contract for interim repairs, while closing the facility overnight and on weekends.  
There is still no plan, and certainly no money set aside, for a long term solution.
Channel 5 Investigates has been looking at Alewife Station since April, and posted a slideshow of 122 photos of the damage.  These are a few. 
On Monday, Sen. Cindy Friedman, Rep. Sean Garballey, and I asked the Fiscal Management Control Board for a long-term repair plan.  Sen. Friedman repeated the demand we and other legislators made in a July letter: don't raise the parking fee to $10, the highest in the system, especially because of the decrepit conditions and lack of alternative T parking.

In May, Sen. Jason Lewis, Rep. Mike Day and I went to the Control Board to ask them to prioritize permanent repairs to the Winchester Center commuter rail station, where concrete has also been falling onto pedestrian ramps.  While the T has contracted for design of reconstruction, there is not enough money in the capital plan for that project.

The T spent $1 million in 2010 for emergency repairs to Winchester Center; last week it contracted for $5.7 million for emergency repairs at Alewife. 

Gov. Baker promised to “fix the T.”  Now he says we don’t need more money for transportation infrastructure; “let’s do a better job with the dollars we have.”  
The governor has been in office 3 ½ years. If we have enough money why aren’t these places being fixed? Patches are a temporary solution, but it’s a waste of money and time if we don’t find out what our capital needs are and fix the problems.  People shouldn’t have to worry about concrete falling on them or their cars.

I talked with New England Cable News reporter Alison King about Alewife and the governor's denial that we need more adequate funding.
Hope you're enjoying your summer.  Stay safe!
photos: WCVB, NECN
Copyright © *Committee to Re-Elect Pat Jehlen, All rights reserved.

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