Friday, June 14, 2024

MBTA interim general manager Jeffrey Gonneville speaks with media Monday at the Alewife T station. (Photo: Marc Levy)

MBTA interim general manager Jeffrey Gonneville is urging patience from commuters as crews work to repair the damage from a 10,000-pound chunk of concrete barrier knocked through the atrium roof at Alewife Station, the result of a driver intentionally crashing his vehicle through the station parking garage Saturday.

“As of right now, our crews and contractors are working closely to ensure there are safe and accessible pathways,” Gonneville said at a Monday press conference.

Crews and contractors are taking a phased approach to the assessment, cleanup and reconstruction, Gonneville said.

“This could have been an absolutely horrific event,” he said of the 1:30 p.m. Saturday incident, in which the MBTA said a driver slammed their car into a barrier on the top deck of the Alewife parking garage, sending concrete debris and shattered glass into the lobby and mezzanine area.

A car is stuck halfway off the Alewife parking garage Saturday. (Photo: Cambridge Fire Department via Twitter)

Crews worked over the weekend at assessing the damage and removing the 10,000-pound barrier, which broke through the roof trusses and fell through to the mezzanine floor, injuring a young girl below; now they must ensure the parking garage that serves an average 1,200 cars and 5,000 commuters daily is safe to use.

The garage will then be opened to the station using the Russell Field headhouse while access to the mezzanine of the station and fifth floors of the parking garage remain closed for repairs. Although the goal is to restore access to the garage and station this week, the full project including access to the fifth floor of the garage and the mezzanine of the station have no firm dates at this time, Gonneville told media.

“It has to be able to withstand wind,” Gonneville said. “It has to be able to withstand snow.”

As the work continues this week, shuttle buses running approximately every 10 to 15 minutes will provide service between Alewife and Davis stations.

Gonneville said the price tag for the work will likely run into the millions of dollars.

“Certainly the operator of the automobile has a level of responsibility,” he said when asked who will pay. The district attorney is looking at the situation, he said.