Salem Station on the Eastern Route Discussion

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Salem Station on the Eastern Route Discussion

Postby Dick H » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:44 pm

"SALEM — Last night's public meeting on the proposed new commuter rail station
and parking garage in Salem had to be a shocking experience for the MBTA. Much
of the crowd came to praise the T, not bury it."

http://www.salemnews.com/local/x1118844 ... ation-plan
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Re: New Salem Station Plans Mostly Well Received

Postby Mcoov » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:36 pm

This IS Salem after all: the home of witchcraft since 1692.
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Re: New Salem Station Plans Mostly Well Received

Postby FatNoah » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:49 am

The project is further complicated by the discovery 6 feet underground of remnants from an old roundhouse and turntable from the steam locomotive days.


Interesting tidbit...
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Re: New Salem Station Plans Mostly Well Received

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:10 am

How was the roundhouse remnant a shocker? It's there plain as day on Historic Aerials on every view through 1971: http://www.historicaerials.com/aerials. ... &year=1955.

Unless demolition records say they dug out the foundation and ground scoping for the garage says otherwise. But that doesn't sound plausible, because they never would've needed to get rid of the foundation before now. B&M left the center of the wye a dirt storage yard afterwards, and the T never had to worry about underground structures when it paved the parking lot for the new north-of-portal station in the 80's. Somebody needs to get fired and publicly mocked as a dumbarse if they're incurring this extreme a cost and schedule overrun on the garage because no one bothered to check. Hell, there are probably CR employees today who were on the job on the northside back when that roundhouse was still standing.
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Re: New Salem Station Plans Mostly Well Received

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:18 am

Am I the only person in this world who sees this Park & Rides for what it really is? This has been repeatedly hailed as the greatest thing in the world. God forbid we invest in Blue Line to Lynn, then Salem, and sell off air rights at a good rate over the station and currently existing parking lot for some lower level retail, a good heap of residential, and even a few offices, maybe some limited hotel space. Instead... oh, we can build a parking garage here, a parking garage at Beverly Depot, widen 128 from 95 to Danvers or Beverly, and pay for the sprawling utilities that result. We'll probably need to widen up Bridge St and 114 in various ways, too.
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Re: New Salem Station Plans Mostly Well Received

Postby frrc » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:59 pm

Expect a delay in construction due to this:

"Basically, we lost a floor in order to pay for those foundations," Doherty said.

The project is further complicated by the discovery 6 feet underground of remnants from an old roundhouse and turntable from the steam locomotive days.

"We have a strong reason to believe there are structures down below that need to be addressed in a historically sensitive manner," said McCredie, the lead architect on the project.

An archaeological firm will begin digging in April, a T official said, and file a preliminary report in April or May with the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

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Re: New Salem Station Plans Mostly Well Received

Postby jbvb » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:16 pm

Having ridden back and forth through Salem since the '60s, I'm quite sure nobody bothered to dig up the Salem engine terminal's foundations - turntable, roundhouse, coal pocket. It would be wonderful if there was a take-back clause in the various Insultant contracts about this; I can't imagine anyone doing this without spending $1M on experts, and I can't imagine experts trying to build a multi-storey structure on former salt marsh without borings, and it would have been the work of a minute or two's common sense to bore in the area of the turntable, at least.
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Re: New Salem Station Plans Mostly Well Received

Postby TomNelligan » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:16 pm

An archaeological firm will begin digging in April, a T official said, and file a preliminary report in April or May with the Massachusetts Historical Commission.


Our tax dollars at work, I guess. Good lord, any of us old geezers who rode the Eastern Route in the 1960s could have told them what to expect in that area. Why don''t they just get in touch with the B&M Historical Society for a selection of photos? I wouldn't be surprised if the B&MRRHS even has blueprints of the old roundhouse and associated facilities. But I suppose the "consultants" have to earn their money first.
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Re: New Salem Station Plans Mostly Well Received

Postby frrc » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:17 pm

TomNelligan wrote:
An archaeological firm will begin digging in April, a T official said, and file a preliminary report in April or May with the Massachusetts Historical Commission.


Our tax dollars at work, I guess. Good lord, any of us old geezers who rode the Eastern Route in the 1960s could have told them what to expect in that area. Why don''t they just get in touch with the B&M Historical Society for a selection of photos? I wouldn't be surprised if the B&MRRHS even has blueprints of the old roundhouse and associated facilities. But I suppose the "consultants" have to earn their money first.



Figure the "consultants" will spend considerable time digging up all the dirt and sorting it out by hand....in the goal of finding any historical items.....
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Re: New Salem Station Plans Mostly Well Received

Postby jbvb » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:35 am

The cynic in me is saying that "Hey, if we throw $100K to the archaeologists, can we put off spending the $30M for a year or two?" contributed more to the decision than any real interest in digging up a fairly well-documented engine terminal that was only demolished 50 years ago. After all, Salem *did* host the last B&M steam, along with BET, in July 1956, so a good deal of film was expended out there, and it ought to appear on the both the ICC valuation surveys and the engineering drawings for the 1952-1958 tunnel/seawall project.
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Re: New Salem Station Plans Mostly Well Received

Postby Matthew » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:52 am

One of the biggest is the size of the garage. A facility once pegged at 1,000 spaces has dwindled to about half that size.

Salem Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rinus Oosthoek said it looked like the T was building a facility for the 1970s, not the 21st century. He urged them to consider putting another level on the four-floor [parking] structure, which he said could generate revenue to help pay off the added costs of construction.


This is ridiculous. The 1970s is when we built massive parking structures everywhere and nearly destroyed the city of Boston in the process. If the MBTA really wanted to join the 21st century, they would eliminate the parking garage entirely from downtown Salem. Park and rides don't belong inside urban areas.
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Re: New Salem Station Plans Mostly Well Received

Postby Komarovsky » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:37 pm

Did the parking garage go through then ENF/EIR process? Part if the process is to identify past land uses, which would have turned up the roundhouse etc.
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Re: New Salem Station Plans Mostly Well Received

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:39 pm

Matthew wrote:This is ridiculous. The 1970s is when we built massive parking structures everywhere and nearly destroyed the city of Boston in the process. If the MBTA really wanted to join the 21st century, they would eliminate the parking garage entirely from downtown Salem. Park and rides don't belong inside urban areas.

There are some people (myself included) who do find the 1970s Brutalist strctures as a work of art. They are a time capsule, a historic relic of the era in which they were designed and built.
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Re: New Salem Station Plans Mostly Well Received

Postby Matthew » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:18 pm

R36 Combine Coach wrote:There are some people (myself included) who do find the 1970s Brutalist strctures as a work of art. They are a time capsule, a historic relic of the era in which they were designed and built.


Yes. A historic relic of the 70s. Leaving aside the artistic merit, do you agree that building acres of parking structures is an example of 1970s style thinking?
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Re: New Salem Station Plans Mostly Well Received

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:29 pm

Back then, new freeways and Interstates were being built across the nation during much of the late 1960s and early 70s, so new parking facilities seemed be a fitting match with the new roads.
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