Back Bay Station Redevelopment Project
Private developer Boston Properties (BP) has signed a long term lease and has assumed operational control of the concourse level of Back Bay Station. In accordance with the lease agreement, Boston Properties will be responsible for the maintenance, security, repairs and cleaning of the concourse level of the station. BP is also responsible for designing and constructing $32M of major concourse level station improvements including; new entrance doors, windows, lighting, renovated rest rooms, new retail space and public waiting areas, and a revised concourse layout.
The BP lease agreement also committed $5M of BP funds toward the repair and improvement of ventilation systems at Back Bay Station to reduce diesel fumes. As part of the agreement, those BP funds were matched by $5M of MassDOT funds, and the project became the responsibility of the MBTA to design & construct the ventilation improvements utilizing a total project budget of $10M. The agreement calls for the MBTA to commence construction on the ventilation improvements before BP will commence with their concourse level improvements project.
In addition, the lease provides for four air rights development sites; two over the Hancock Garage, one over Back Bay Station, and one over the Clarendon Street Busway at Back Bay Station. The developer filed a notice of intent with the City of Boston in December 2015 and a project notification form in April 2016.
The MBTA has consultant Hatch Mott MacDonald (HMM) on board to investigate and design a solution for improving the ventilation at Back Bay Station. A preliminary study was performed to identify the problem and several possible solutions. Following that preliminary study, computer modeling was performed of each possible solution to confirm their effectiveness and to help select the best option to pursue.
The draft results indicate the best solution would include a combination of the following: 1) Enclose and pressurize the stairs between the track level (Tracks 1, 2 and 3) and the concourse level; 2) Install new ventilation elements and better utilize existing systems in the Southwest Corridor Tunnel to help exhaust the commuter rail platform area (Tracks 1, 2 and 3).
An initial construction package will be prepared and bid to complete the stair pressurization scope which will greatly reduce the diesel fumes migrating up to the concourse level. A second construction package to install a new tunnel ventilation system will also be designed by HMM. This will help remove diesel fumes from the platforms at Tracks 1, 2 and 3.
BP and the MBTA are progressing past the 30% design level for concourse improvements. Currently, bathroom renovation work is well underway. Temporary bathrooms have been set up in modular buildings located in the station busway.
A final component of the overall work includes power and other infrastructure upgrades.
See the slide show from public meeting held September 26, 2016.
Click here to view the meeting notes from September 26, 2016 Public Meeting.
Mark Lombardo, P.E.
MBTA Design and Construction
View from Clarendon Street
View from Dartmouth and Stuart Street
View from Dartmouth Street