There’s Still Time to Comment on MassDOT’s Relocated Maintenance Facility and Salt Shed

Aerial photograph of the proposed site for the relocation of MassDOT's maintenance facility and salt barn - Courtesy photo
Aerial photograph of the proposed site for the relocation of MassDOT’s maintenance facility and salt barn.The current facility can be seen just opposite the new location, across Rte. 3 – Courtesy photo

By Julie McCay Turner

Proposed rendering of the facility - click to enlarge the photo -  Courtesy image
Proposed rendering of the facility – click to enlarge the photo – Courtesy image

In addition to a second public information meeting on January 15 to consider the relocation of MassDOT’s maintenance facility from property owned by the Davis Companies to a parcel of state-owned land in the cloverleaf of the Rte 3/Rte 62 interchange, the topic will be on the Selectmen’s December 22 agenda.

Click here to read the full MassDOT project description, as shared by Bedford’s Town Engineer Adrienne St. John who also supplied all of the images for this story.

Local Concerns

Margot Fleischman brought up concerns raised by local residents during open discussion at the end of the Selectmen’s December 8 meeting.

A  computer simulation of the view from Rte 62 westbound - Courtesy image
A computer simulation of the view from Rte 62 westbound – Courtesy image

Selectman Mark Siegenthaler recalled a notification that MassDOT was going to sell their property on the eastern side of Route 3 as surplus inventory, but not that the maintenance shed and salt barn would be relocated to the western side of the highway, adjacent to a residential neighborhood.

MassDOT's 'Concept Plan"
MassDOT’s ‘Concept Plan”

Earlier in the week, a large group of residents in the Earl Road/Meadowbrook Road area signed a letter forwarded to the Selectmen, Rep. Ken Gordon and Sen. Mike Barrett, expressing their concerns about the planned facility.   Several of those residents attended Monday’s Selectmen’s meeting, pointing out that they had learned about the project upon noticing a survey team working at the edge of the highway, behind Earl Road and Meadowbrook Road.

Meadowbrook Road resident Jeff Cournoyer noted that residents have raised a range of concerns, including “lack of notification of the planned project, noise and light pollution from the facility, diesel fumes from idling trucks, and the tree clearing and ledge blasting that will be required for the project”. Residents are also concerned about the potential environmental impacts of a salt storage facility in close proximity to Vine Brook, which is a habitat for the endangered bridle shiner and a host of other wildlife.”

To learn more about the bridle shiner: (https://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/2013/07/26/route-3-embankment-repair-will-not-endanger-bridle-shiner/

Background

When he found that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Highway Division’s October, 2014 public information was sparsely attended, State Representative Ken Gordon urged MassDOT to reschedule the meeting to discuss the construction of their new maintenance and salt storage facility on state-owned land along Route 62 / Burlington Road.

MassDOT’s original invitation said that “the proposed project consists of replacing the existing Bedford maintenance depot site located upon 4.46 acres on Crosby Road in the town of Bedford with a new facility located on Route 62 (Burlington Road) in the northwest quadrant of the Route 3/Route 62 interchange.”

According to materials that MassDOT shared with the Bedford DPW,  “The proposed facility will replace two old salt barns and a construction trailer with a gambrel style salt storage barn, a  metal maintenance building, two above-ground liquid deicer tanks, an access drive and  plow/spreader staging area, and parking for MassDOT personnel. The existing site is being sold as surplus to provide the opportunity for expansion for local business.

“The proposed salt barn will be capable of storing over 5000 tons of salt and will permit indoor loading of salt during winter snow and ice operations. The maintenance office and garage will provide an efficient work area and covered space to store work vehicles and equipment. Work will also include excavation and paving, lighting, landscaping, fencing and storm water controls.”

CORRECTION – January 26, 2015:  The transaction to sell MassDOT’s salt shed property on Crosby Drive was not with iRobot as originally stated in this story, but with The Davis Companies, owners of Bedford Business Park.


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