Parking in Salem will be a little harder to come by starting on Monday.
As part of the work leading up to the construction of the new MBTA parking garage at the Salem commuter rail station, the T must shut down part of the 340-space lot, reducing available parking by about 225 spaces.
The reason for the shutdown is the required excavation of part of the current lot as part of the project's environmental review and permitting process, all of which must be completed before construction can begin. According to a statement from George Doherty, the MBTA's project manager, the spaces will not be available for about six to eight weeks.
"As part of the archaeological field work for the project, the team has to excavate, expose and document the historic underground structures on the site," Doherty said. "We ask for your patience as this field excavation work is an important element in completing the project design."
Construction on the 715-space garage is slated to begin in the spring of 2013. The MBTA is holding its next public meeting on the $39 million project on November 13 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Carlton Elementary School.
The project is essentially a complete overhaul of the current station, not only by adding 375 parking spots, but also providing commuters with an indoor waiting area, an elevated track with intermittent canopies for weather protection, a footbridge from Washington Street to the platform, and bike storage.
Ryan Mooney can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mooney_ryan.