Letter to the Editor: Salt Shed Concerns

A Letter to the EditorSubmitted by Philippe Kelty

To whom it may concern,

I am writing with a sense of urgency about a proposed MASS DOT new maintenance facility on the west bound side of route 62 adjacent to a residential neighborhood in Bedford.

Mass Dot presently has a facility on Crosby Drive in Bedford which is an industrial zoned area far from any residential neighborhoods. They have apparently sold this parcel of land and are proposing to move this facility to a location on Route 62.

There are some major concerns with this project including the speed at which Mass DOT is trying to implement the building of this facility.

Major neighborhood opposition to this project are environmental concerns on both broader salt runoff pollution of nearby Vine Brook , a tributary to the Shawsheen River and eventually the Merrimack River. Vine Brook being potentially extremely adversely impacted . I do not believe this project will fall under the permitting jurisdiction of the Bedford Conservation Commission as it is beyond the 200’ distance from Vine Brook. Unfortunately , this is probably an after the fact issue which would be very expensive to change unless a state or Federal agency has a greater jurisdiction in this matter of salt run off pollution.

The most immediate concern for the neighboring residential area are environmental quality of life issues, general traffic and residential neighborhood concerns of light and noise pollution. In terms of traffic this facility would be compounding an already horrendous traffic situation on Route 62 by adding major truck traffic . Route 62 west bound traffic is presently at a dead stop during any major storm event ,rain or snow. Trucks trying to access a facility on the west bound side during a snow storm would exponentially add to a already impossible traffic backup. Sanding trucks and Snowplow trucks’ ability to effectively load up and get back on the road would be extremely limited, jeopardizing the efficiency of their function and ultimately highway safety.

The deleterious impact that this will have on the quality of life in the neighborhoods surrounding this facility, Old Burlington Road, Ledgewood Drive, Earl Road, Meadowbrook Road will be significant. This facility will be lit up like an airport. The glow from the present facility on Crosby drive can be seen at night from the end of Old Burlington Road at almost one mile away. I can not imagine how intrusive this will be to neighboring residents when it is 100 yards away. Also in addition it can presently be heard from the end of Old Burlington Road on certain nights. This is a facility which has Semi tractor trailer dump trucks bringing material, front end loaders moving material around and loading a constant flow of dump trucks. All of these vehicles are equipped with loud backup signal alarms. During a storm event this would be a 24 hour ceaseless noise intrusion. Noise pollution is I believe a major concern of Mass regulatory agencies.

Frankly this is an unfair playing field. Mass DOT’s expansion of Route 3 was a massacre of each town’s environmental concerns along that corridor. Each town was played individually with concerns for noise and wetland intrusion and what resident’s were lead to believe would happen, did not. The residual effect is that residents back yards are now so loud that they do not use them.

This maintenance facility should have never been changed from its present location and should not be built adjacent to a residential neighborhood. Another more appropriate location need to be found which meets the criteria of an industrial zoned area far from homes and potential damages from salt runoff and increased large truck traffic.

Thank you for your help,

Sincerely,

Philippe Kelty


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