Region – Federal, state and local officials, as well as members of the public attended the groundbreaking ceremony June 6 for the Worcester Regional Transit Authority's (WRTA) Maintenance and Operations Facility, located at 42 Quinsigamond Ave. in Worcester.
The new facility is on 11 acres of land in a manufacturing zone and will replace the WRTA's obsolete 85-year-old facility at 287 Grove St. It is one-half mile closer to the WRTA's Transportation Hub when compared to the Grove Street location, assisting in a quicker response time. The proposed building footprint is 150,682 square feet, including bus storage, maintenance, administrative offices, operation dispatching and parking. Construction is scheduled to begin this month with anticipated completion in early 2016.
U.S. Congressman James O. McGovern led the array of federal, state and local speakers at the event.
“This new state-of-the-art facility will replace a woefully obsolete one and will bring economic development and new jobs into the Canal District,” McGovern said.
The project will assist the neighborhood by revitalizing a blighted and vacant site and bringing over 120 construction jobs and over 150 permanent and part-time jobs to the area.
Partnership was a key component of this project and was touted again and again by officials.
“Organized labor working hand-in-hand with the WRTA is something to be truly proud of,” McGovern said, including a thank you to the neighborhood for assisting in helping to bring the project to fruition. “This is a cause for celebration.”
Estimated cost for the project is $60 million, with $39 million in funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), $16 million in combined funding from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), as well as proceeds from the sale of 287 Grove St. Additionally, the project is receiving funding through the Urbanized Area Formula Program, which makes federal resources available to governors for transit capital and operating assistance in urbanized areas and for transportation-related planning.
Other speakers at the ceremony included: Mary Beth Mello, regional administrator, Region 1, FTA; Beverly A. Scott, PhD, MBTA general manager and MassDOT rail and transit administrator; Senator Michael O. Moore; State Representative Daniel M. Donahue; and William Lethola, WRTA Advisory Board chair.