The Westborough Board of Selectmen voted unanimously on Tuesday night to approve the site plan for a new bulk transfer station on Walkup Drive off Flanders Road, paving the way for CSX to begin construction.
When it’s up and running the transfer station, which is located less than a mile from the Southborough border, is expected to handle a range of chemical materials, including 30% that would be classified as hazardous. As part of the project, CSX has asked to increased the number of rail lines at the site by ten. When things are up and running they expect about 30 trucks to pass through the site each day.
Westborough officials said all their concerns about the project had been addressed, but some Southborough residents weren’t so sure.
Reports the Community Advocate:
One person not happy with the decision, however, was Bonnie Phaneuf, the former chair of the Southborough Board of Selectmen. Phaneuf wanted the Westborough board to ask for public comments during the hearing. She noted that there were still concerns that Southborough officials had with CSX regarding rerouting trucks so they could not turn right onto Walkup Drive and continue into Southborough.
Nothing in the site plan specifically prevents them from doing so, but CSX said they would make “every effort” to educate drivers not to travel to and from the site through Southborough.
Southborough Fire Chief John Mauro Jr. told selectman last year the CSX facility poses “little risk” to the town of Southborough, but Selectman John Rooney questioned CSX’s safety record and said the project would have “lasting consequences” on our area.
Although they declined requests to meet with the Southborough Board of Selectmen saying the town has no jurisdiction over the project, CSX officials said they were confident they had addressed the town’s concerns. Writes Westborough Patch:
The CSX representative added that CSX has received limited questions on the available website (railwestborough.com) from Southborough residents and, therefore, believes questions and concerns from Southborough residents have been addressed.
On the positive side for Southborough commuters, the new facility in Westborough means CSX will have to send fewer freight trains into Boston, and that will open the tracks for an additional 20 commuter trains on the Boston-Worcester line come 2012.
For more coverage of Westborough’s decision, see these articles:
- Westborough selectmen approve CSX site plan (Metrowest Daily News)
- Selectmen approve new transfer facility (Community Advocate)
- Selectmen approve CSX site plan (The Daily Westborough)
(Photo posted to flickr by jpmueller99)