MBTA update: Archway will rise at Mattapan Station

An MBTA rendering shows the planned archway at the new Mattapan Square station.

Two MBTA station renovations that lost certain design features due to budget cuts are being reunited with their finishing touches. At Mattapan Station, an archway that was never built is back on the drawing board and at Shawmut, a new ceiling and column caps will complete the feel of a new space.

The MBTA board of directors authorized over $2.48 million in change orders to make the work possible last Thursday, bowing to pressure from community members and elected officials who sought the changes.

"There were some differences in terms of what the MBTA did, compared to the things that were agreed upon," said state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry. "But [MBTA general manager] Daniel Grabauskas has been really great in understanding the role of the community and how important it is."

At Mattapan Station, a large ornamental archway will be added for a cost of up to $430,000. The Community Advisory Board for the station's design originally approved the archway, and raised the alarm when it was eliminated to cut costs. According to MBTA documents, they said it was an "important element to the urban aesthetic for Mattapan Square." Payment for additional landscaping elements, which have already been completed by the original contractor S&R Construction Co., was also approved.

At Shawmut Station, a new drop ceiling and column covers will be added to the interior to hide the effects of water that leaked in through the tunnel cap for years. The cost is limited to $1 million.

The same drip, drip, drip of water soaked the tracks, ballast, and ties in Shawmut Station for years, necessitating up to another $1 million to pay for their replacement. The full length of the station's Southbound and Northbound tracks will be completely re-constructed. The work will be done on the weekends between January and April, said MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo, and would be coordinated with other train-stopping work, such as the new Ashmont Station, to limit interruptions in service.

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