Transit officials working with Harvard University are hoping to turn an old Allston freight yard into the site of a $25 million commuter rail station that will provide a much-needed transportation connection to South Station and the Back Bay.
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The proposed station, tentatively named West Station, would be built at Beacon Park Yard on the Framingham/Worcester commuter rail line, officials recently announced. The station would link the Allston neighborhood with North and South stations and possibly Kendall Square in Cambridge.
The hefty price tag will be paid for by a combination of public and private funding, with Harvard University taking on a third of the cost - around $8 million.
"The fact that the station is becoming more real and more tangible is something I've gotten a lot of great feedback on from the Harvard community," said Kevin Casey, associate vice president for public affairs at Harvard.
The station will be part of MassDOT's $260 million I-90 Interchange Improvement Project, which will straighten out the Massachusetts Turnpike in Allston, improve bicycle and pedestrian connections along Cambridge Street and incorporate all electronic tolling
It's too early for MassDOT to release any details about the station, as developers are still working on its layout.
"People have asked for a new station for a long time and we've been able to figure out a way to make it happen" said Kelly Smith, a MassDOT spokeswoman. "It's a total re-imagining of this area. It's a pretty big change."
One possible outcome of the new station will be relief for the overcrowded Green Line.
"It's hard at this point to fully predict what the ridership will be and where it will come from, but this will add another transportation option for people in an area where it's limited," said Smith.
Work is expected to begin in 2017, with a goal of being completed in 2020.
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