Submitted by Thomas Tinlin
Chief of Operations and Maintenance, MassDOT
We want to thank the folks who came out on Thursday to join us in an insightful discussion about our plans to relocate our existing maintenance depot in Bedford. The meeting was well attended and there were many thoughtful questions asked that we are taking into consideration as we advance our plans. We also want to thank those who volunteered to act as a design advisory committee as we move forward. This will help us as we clarify this proposal and bring the community issues to bear.
Highway safety is the core mission at MassDOT. To that effect, the new maintenance depot, to be located entirely within the on-ramp to Route 3 south provides equivalent, if not better access to roadways under our jurisdiction; it does not require any land takings from private parties, and is virtually unbuildable for any other purpose. Moreover, it provides us with an opportunity to make dramatic improvements in the way in which we store and load salt for snow storms. The existing facility hails from the 1970s and has protections against salt spillover and stormwater runoff that are far inferior to today’s standards, and results in the loss of salt because of inefficient operations and exposure to the elements. The new facility will allow for ample storage and for loading of salt to be conducted entirely within the protected structure. Additionally, the plans being advanced will include strong and modern stormwater protections for any spillover that may escape the new structure. Building the new depot on our preferred location will allow us to carry out critical highway maintenance functions effectively and efficiently, but also in a manner that has the strongest protections against impacts to the Vine Brook and other sensitive resource areas nearby.
Having said that, we recognize that the residents of this area want to preserve their quality of life, but we truly believe that this site will not interfere with that. We will continue to make every effort to minimize disruption and be a good neighbor and share with them our plans to mitigate traffic, lighting, and noise.