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The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board voted Monday to approve a $5 million architectural and engineering contract for major renovations at three commuter rail stations in Newton, targeting construction of platforms and accessibility improvements as key projects, according to this State House News Service story posted by Wicked Local Newton.

The report recommended building a single-track platform on the north side of each station, but left open the possibility of adding an additional platform on the other side to help increase off-peak and reverse peak inbound service.

 

Constructing both platforms would bump the total project cost up to $112 million, according to a presentation MBTA officials gave at a Newton community meeting in July, and would bump the total program duration from just less than five years to about eight years.

 

“It gets very expensive to do two sides,” Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said during Monday’s meeting, noting that additional platforms would effectively double the scope of the project because more elevators and steps would be needed as well.

 

The MBTA board will need to approve a larger construction contract later in the process. If the single-platform plan remains in place, construction itself should take about two-and-a-half years.