Long-awaited improvements to the waterfront parcel of land by Union Station are moving forward. The Town of Brattleboro Selectboard approved a bid by Zaluzny Excavating to perform the work needed at the site, which will start with the demolition of two buildings in December 2011.
The work to the site, designed and overseen by engineering firm Stevens & Associates, includes pedestrian and parking improvements on the east side of the railroad tracks. Two buildings will be removed to make way for open green space along the river. Depot Street will house 17 parking spaces for train riders, with space for possible expansion to 28 spaces. A vehicle turnaround will be added at the north end of the site, near the Merrill Gas building.
A paved sidewalk will run the length of the parking area, separated from the railroad tracks by a grassy area and a row of trees. Lighting will also be added. Where Depot Street meets Bridge Street, the sidewalk will open up into a small paved and planted bus stop, with a bus shelter designed and constructed by timber framer Monica MacNeille. These improvements will increase pedestrian safety and improve handicapped accessibility to the train station and the railroad crossing.
“This project will create green space on the only publicly accessible riverfront land in town,” said project manager and engineer Cory Frehsee of Stevens & Associates. “It will greatly improve the experience of train travelers entering Brattleboro, and will provide open space for residents.”
The project also includes brownfield corrective action measures designed and overseen by New England Envirostrategies of Concord, New Hampshire, and project management by the Windham Regional Commission. Construction will begin in December, and is scheduled to be completed by July 1, 2012. Funding for the project came from the Federal Transit Authority, the State of Vermont Agency of Transportation, the State of Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, CVPS, and the Town of Brattleboro.