LYNN — The walls on its top level are covered with graffiti. Concrete is crumbling from other walls and rust pocks the metal girders that define the Market Street commuter garage’s open air design.
Fixing up the garage has been the focus of Lynn state legislators for years and now the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) says the garage opposite North Shore Community College’s Lynn campus is headed for renovation.
MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo last Friday said money is available in the MBTA Capital Investment Program to procure a consultant to assist with a rehabilitation project for the Lynn garage.
“The plan is to begin the procurement process for the consultant in the fall. In the meantime, we’ll dispatch personnel to the top level next week to perform an assessment of its current condition,” Pesaturo said in an email Friday.
Opened in 1992 with nearly 1,000 parking spaces, the garage anchors downtown’s Market Street end and sits on the Lynnway/Broad Street entrance to the city. Connected to Central Square by a raised train platform, and a glass-arched walkway between the Broad Street busway and Munroe Street, the garage provides parking for downtown residents, commuters bound for Boston and downtown workers.
It’s been two years since Pesaturo confirmed “there’s been no recent work at the garage.” By contrast, the Broad Street area on one side of the parking facility has seen construction including the new college campus addition.
Built at a cost of $50 million, the garage was applauded by state transportation officials when it opened as a cornerstone for North Shore transportation improvements.
With two wings, each with five parking tiers, and the glass-walled elevator, the garage has cameras and transit officer patrol. Maintenance needs identified late in 2014 by the MBTA included installing new lights and replacing cracked tiles.