South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for now

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Re: South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for

Postby 3rdrail » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:38 pm

Fred Rabin wrote:Providence is not a satellite city.


Fred - I have to disagree. It was founded by a Boston outcast and has always depended on it's "Hub" (Boston) to survive.
It has historically been at an extreme poverty level for it's size as well as populated and controlled by organized crime.
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Re: South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for

Postby BigUglyCat » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:28 pm

John will scold us for going off topic here (quite rightly), but I just wanted to comment. I was born and raised in RI. Providence was once a very rich and influential city, unfortunately due in large part to the triangle (slave) trade. Even as late as World War II, it boasted as the home of Brown & Sharpe, then the pre-eminent machine tool firm in the world. In fact, Brown & Sharpe war work is directly responsible for my existence.

In recent years, much good has transpired for Providence, thanks in large part to the disgraced mayor Buddy Cianci. Organized crime influence began to wane with the downfall of Raymond Patriarca some decades ago.

Ultimately, Fred, I have to agree with Paul that, these days, Providence is more of a satelite city than an independent metropolis. You can see the truth of this with the celebration of T commuter service to Warwick's TF Green Airport. In fact, the metro area is realistically Providence-Warwick, and has been for some time. Even so, Providence has its own identity, worthy of respect. They do love the Red Sox, the Patriots and the Bruins down there!
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Re: South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for

Postby 3rdrail » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:43 pm

Providence would have been a Waterbury ("I coulda been a contender !") had it not been for it's access to the Atlantic Ocean and it's trajectory towards Boston when the B&PRR devised it's Main Line, now operated by MBTA and part of the NEC. Sorry BUC, but I'm not so sure about the "good" spread about by Mayor "Buddy". After all, he did torture a guy. (although with the racketeering, you'd think that he could have bought a better "rug" than the "Jack Kennedy" style that he wore - maybe it went to charity ?) hahaha!!!
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Re: South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for

Postby sery2831 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:46 pm

Scold! Can we please get back on topic... Or do we want this to moved to the New England Forum?
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Re: South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for

Postby Fred Rabin » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:16 pm

This is ON topic. There's an MBTA train arriving in Providence at 7:25 AM. A few months ago, I did an informal count; about 70 people got off that train. So there are some commuters coming to Providence from Massachusetts. Probably would be more if there were a train arriving between 8:30 and 9.
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Re: South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for

Postby sery2831 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:21 am

The topic is about expansion at South Station and not ridership in/to/from Providence or any other city. I am not going to debate what's on or off topic here. I am just trying to allow the topic some more room for discussion in a forum that deals with more than the MBTA.
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Re: South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sat May 05, 2012 9:45 am

More delays.

South Station NOT on track
BY: PAUL MCMORROW
May 04, 2012

MORE THAN 18 months ago, state transportation officials announced a major federal grant that would enable them to expand South Station in Boston. But the state hasn’t tapped the funds yet, and it’s beginning to look like it may not happen for awhile.

The $32.5 million federal grant, drawn from high-speed rail stimulus funds, was supposed to pay for permitting and engineering work at the congestion-choked rail terminal. After an extensive delay on the federal side, the South Station project is now being dogged by delays at the state level. An agreement for acquiring project real estate has lapsed, and this week MassDOT’s board tabled a contract to fund expansion-related engineering and permitting.

South Station is the northbound terminal for regional Amtrak service, and for commuter rail traffic from the southern and western suburbs. The station is currently operating at capacity. Congestion puts a strain on traffic traveling in and out of the station. Capacity issues also serve as barriers to the state’s planned South Coast Rail expansion, and to a federal plan for beefing up high-speed rail between Boston and Washington, DC.

The $32.5 million stimulus grant, which was announced in late 2010, would begin to remove this bottleneck. The federal grant was intended to fund the planning, engineering, and environmental permitting necessary to expand South Station. The new tracks would be laid out on an 8-acre parcel that’s now home to a massive US Postal Service facility; the stimulus grant would advance the South Station project to the point where it would be eligible for a much larger slug of federal construction funds.

Although federal and state officials announced the South Station grant in October 2010, the federal transportation bureaucracy didn’t actually release the funds to the state until last September. By that time, financial turmoil inside the Postal Service had thrown the complicated land swap underpinning the rail expansion into turmoil.

MassDOT, Massport and the Postal Service all agreed in January 2011 to trade the Postal Service’s 8-acre Fort Point facility for a new South Boston building; the state would finance the Postal Service move, and acquire the staging ground for South Station’s expansion in return. But in September, the Postal Service, nearing insolvency, began reviewing its real estate holdings across the country, including whether it wanted to operate any kind of mail processing plant in Boston. The Postal Service ultimately decided in February to retain its Boston plant – the same plant DOT needs to acquire and level before expanding South Station. This decision likely put the state back on the hook for the Postal Service’s $200 million relocation. But the relocation agreement between DOT, Massport, and the Postal Service expired in January, leaving the sides without a formal roadmap for clearing the South Station expansion site. When the feds released the $32.5 million grant, it was clear who would move the Postal Service off their land, and who would pay for it. That’s no longer the case.

The state also hasn’t been able to begin planning and permitting work for the rail expansion because it doesn’t yet have a contractor to do this work. This week, the MassDOT board tabled a $36.5 million proposal to hire a contractor for the initial South Station work. The board has asked MassDOT staff to come back next month and brief them on the expansion plans.
MassDOT board member Liz Levin told CommonWealth that although South Station’s expansion is “a very important project,” the board had a number of questions about how MassDOT was spending the federal planning grant. For one, Levin noted, MassDOT’s contractor on the project, HNTB, submitted the high bid for the project. Levin also questioned how much of the contract would be devoted toward the actual transit component of the expansion, and how much would go toward enabling commercial air rights development over the new tracks.

“We have a responsibility to make sure the money goes as far as it can, that we’re doing the things we need to do, not the things we don’t need to do,” Levin said. “We asked them to come back and be clearer.”


http://www.commonwealthmagazine.org/Voi ... track.aspx
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Re: South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat May 05, 2012 11:43 pm

So, in other words, they were spending their time making napkin sketches of the latest Meninotower pipe dream for the air rights instead of designing a train station. And were greasing the skids for a politically connected bidder to get larded up nice and fat.

In that case, the DOT did the right thing sending them to their room. This is how boondoggles are born and (un)built. If they get back to work and come back to the DOT with...oh...a design for a train station this time, this will end up being a rare positive check against funny-business as usual.
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Re: South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for

Postby kenmedford » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:36 am

On the June 6 MBTA Board of Directors agenda:

i. Authorization to remove from the Table to Authorize to enter into a contract with HNTB in the amount of $36,483,393.09 to fund Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Review for the South Station Expansion Project.
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Re: South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for

Postby FatNoah » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:39 pm

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/dow ... plann.html

Apparently the $43 million dollar study will be commencing soon. $43 million for a study of a project that will cost several hundred million.
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Re: South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for

Postby Matthew » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:48 am

State transportation officials also said that the station “lacks comfortable, modern” passenger facilities and does not allow sufficient space for trains to wait while not in use.


$43 million is an awful lot of money just to study and design a plan to essentially create a larger downtown "parking lot" for trains.

Perhaps it would be cheaper to find another place to park them? Maybe they could even study how to turn trains faster.
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Re: South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for

Postby BostonUrbEx » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:29 am

I demand a study to study all these studies.
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Re: South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for

Postby newpylong » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:36 am

Seriously? Commuter Rail to two cities 60 miles away from Boston? Glad I will be paying for this project, not.
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Re: South Station expansion/Post Office land deal is off for

Postby Teamdriver » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:11 am

Is this crazy, or just posturing?

South Station tower eyed to compete with Suffolk Downs

Suffolk Downs is betting on being the sole bidder for a Boston casino license, but another high-rolling developer has been quietly eyeing property downtown, including making inquiries about a massive tower slated to be built on top of South Station, the Herald has learned.

An unnamed developer has made inquiries to the city about a stalled 40-story tower project that was approved six years ago at South Station, according to a City Hall source.
http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/v ... 1061161917
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