Lawmakers Call For Funding For South Attleboro Commuter Rail Station Fixes

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ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Lawmakers are calling on the MBTA to fund a project for repairs at the South Attleboro Commuter Rail station, which has been closed for more than a year.

The station closed down after the MBTA ruled the pedestrian bridge used to access the station was in such a state of disrepair, that it could no longer be used safely. Inspections found that the bridge would need to be completely replaced.

The station will include new accessible platforms, a new pedestrian bridge, three elevators, improvements to the parking lot and walkways as well as new busways. State Rep. Jim Hawkins said the design plans for the new infrastructure are just about done, but the $48 million needed in funding the build the new bridge is not a part of the MBTA's five-year capital investment plan.

Rep. Hawkins said the improvements and eventual reopening of the station will be critical to the area, as a new 350-unit housing development is being built nearby.

"The economy has grown significantly," Rep. Hawkins said. "Growth in South Attleboro is incredible so we need this quite badly."

Congressman Jake Auchincloss said there is federal funding available to help get the station's repairs done.

"The South Attleboro Commuter Rail station is a prime example of the good we can do with the more than $500 million in Federal Transit Authority funding coming to the Commonwealth," he said. "People deserve to have accessible, convenient, and reliable Commuter Rail service."

The MBTA's five-year capital investment plan is in its drafting stage in April and will make a final decision on the plan in May. Public comment is available in April and Rep. Hawkins called on the people to voice their support for the plan to be funded.

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"We want people to write in to the MBTA and urge them to fund this," Rep. Hawkins said.

Those interested can submit their feedback here.

WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports.

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