Thursday, October 8, 2020
People living and working along the MBTA Commuter Rail tracks in Gloucester have been subject to an excessive amount of train-related noise and disturbance as a result of the Annisquam River MBTA bridge replacement project. That MBTA bridge carries commuter rail service over the Annisquam and is one of the state's most structurally deficient rail bridges. After years of effort and working with the MBTA we were able to secure the necessary funding to replace it and the project, which is now fully underway, has required the deployment of construction and safety equipment, location changes for switches, and this in turn has caused the relocation of where trains can be held and returned to the terminus in Boston.
Many Gloucester residents have contacted me in the last few months to relay their concerns and to ask for help. The noise has exacerbated challenges for school students trying to learn at home and for others trying to avoid the harangue of disturbances. I am committed to working on this until the best solution can be found. I participated in a City Council meeting two weeks ago and I introduced several MBTA officials who then made a presentation about the ongoing project, federal laws that must be complied with, and options to improve the situation.
In order to facilitate direct communication with MBTA representatives, I arranged a site visit for city officials, residents, and others to come together at the West Gloucester Station, that visit took place yesterday morning. Instructions and signage for train drivers have been placed, switches relocated and alternatives for where trains can idle before returning to service were discussed. With the level of support and advocacy we have had working by with the City Council, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and her administration, State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, and residents in the community I am certain that we will all keep pushing ahead to help our neighbors.