On Tuesday the Orient Heights MBTA Station in East Boston, a main transportation hub for Winthrop commuters heading into Boston, officially reopened after an 8-month construction overhaul.
On Tuesday morning House Speaker Robert DeLeo joined MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey, MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott and other local officials to cut the ribbon on the new Orient Heights Station. Riders began using the new station at the start of service Tuesday. The old station was demolished in March to make way for a new state-of-the-art subway station.
MassDOT had three transportation agencies managing three different projects working closely together to save a total of more than $4.1 million while completing the work and limiting disruptions to subway service.
“Thanks to our investments, including this year’s transportation finance bill, Massachusetts is growing in numerous ways,” said DeLeo. “Our public transportation system is essential to building our neighborhoods, providing for our residents and improving our economy. The new Orient Heights station is a strong step in this direction. I thank the Patrick Administration, Secretary Davey and the local congressional delegation for their work in achieving this important milestone.”
Davey said the work done to rebuild Orient Heights station being coordinated with the replacement of the Revere Beach Parkway Bridge and the completion of the Logan Greenway Connector along the Blue Line right of way is proof of the great progress that can be achieved using shared services and interagency cooperation.
Orient Heights was originally constructed in 1952, prior to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and was not accessible to all customers. The new station is now fully ADA compliant and features new elevators, improved sidewalks and walkways on both subway platforms and the busway for Winthrop commuters so now all paths of travel are accessible and lead to cross-walks.
“Rebuilding Orient Heights station from the ground up has allowed us to not only improve the environment our customers experience when utilizing the station, but also improve our environmental impact and increase efficiency as well as accessibility for all of our riders,” said Scott.
The new Orient Heights station is able to accommodate six-car trains that allow the Blue Line to carry more passengers and meet an environmental commitment made as part of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project. The station design was also done in accordance with LEED/Sustainability Design Guidelines; with elements including solar panels on canopy roofs to generate 20% of station power needs, energy efficient HVAC system and lighting, and the use of LEED certified and sustainable materials in the new Train Operations Building.
Senator Anthony Petruccelli said the construction included improvements in security, a new overhead pedestrian bridge, bike racks and other amenities that will allow for more efficient service with the new Train Operations Building on site
“Now that the Orient Heights Train Station renovation is finished, it is fully accessible to all passengers and represents the final step in the complete transformation of the Blue Line. The upgrades, like the new pedestrian bridge, four elevators and two escalators, allow for everyone to have access to public transportation,” he said. “We now have a brand new station that is fully modernized and vastly improved. This is a triumph for the community and will be an asset that the people of Orient Heights will be able to enjoy for many years to come.”
House Speaker Robert DeLeo addresses the crowd during the ribbon cutting on the completed Orient Heights MBTA station.
MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott cuts the ribbon as MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Representative Carlo Basile (D-East Boston) and Senator Anthony Petruccelli look on.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo (center) with Representative Carlo Basile (D-East Boston) and MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey.
The completed Orient Heights MBTA station.
MBTA workers during Tuesday’s ribbon cutting on the new station.