ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The highly criticized stairs at the South Attleboro train station will soon be a thing of the past, according to MBTA spokesperson Lisa Battison.
But the rusted walkway isn’t the only thing getting a much-needed makeover.
Battison tells Eyewitness News the entire station will be completely redone. While they’re still in the beginning stages of the plan, she said they hope construction can begin sometime in 2021.
“Major upgrades for accessibility improvements and a complete renovation of the entire station, with high-level platforms, is in the design scope,” she said in a statement. “This renovation will address the issues of rehabilitation of stairways, pedestrian walkways, the establishment of new bus berths at the main station parking lot, installation of a tactile strip along the platform edge, new lighting, benches and signage as well as new elevators, ramp, and improved accessibility.”
Battison said it’s unclear at this time which of the improvements will be addressed first, but some of them could impact travel.
In recent years, the MBTA station, right off of Route 1 in South Attleboro, has been known to commuters for it’s deteriorating conditions.
Representative Jim Hawkins said people are mostly concerned about the rusty stairs in particular. He said some of the steps even have visible holes in them.
“Most people are horrified,” Hawkins said.
People boarding the train have to go up and down a set of stairs to get to the Boston side of the station. Hawkins said one look at the pedestrian walkway, and it’s clear that it is due for an upgrade.
“People came out of the woodwork once I made it public that I was going to try to replace this pedestrian overpass. It is rusted and very scary,” Hawkins said.
The stairs going down to the Providence side, are currently boarded up.
Hawkins serves on the House Bonding Committee and has been pushing MBTA authorities about upgrades for months, but the plans to officially upgrade the station only became official a few weeks ago.
Lawmakers recently took a tour of the station with transportation officials and hope to have a town-hall-style meeting with the public in early March.