UPDATE: Andover monopole issue

6/30/17 4:02 PM

Thank you to everyone who contacted my office over the past weeks to express concerns about the proposed construction of monopoles along the commuter rail, particularly in Andover’s Shawsheen Village. Earlier this afternoon, I received promising news from the MBTA who have announced that they will be conducting a 30-day assessment of this project and will not begin any construction on monopoles or infrastructure until they have completed this review period.  This new development is a direct result of your continued and tireless advocacy.

I have received dozens of calls, emails, and letters on this subject, and have shared your correspondence with the MBTA, BAI Communications (formerly inMotion Wireless), and all other parties involved in this process.  My staff and I have helped to lead a coordinated effort with Andover’s local, state, and federal representatives to call for an extension of the ongoing public comment period for this project and a public meeting on this issue to be held in Andover so that affected residents can raise their concerns.

I have also requested modifications to the proposed height and locations of these monopoles and have called for the cancellation of the MBTA’s contract with BAI Communications if they will not consider community impacts in their evaluation of this project.

I have and will continue to coordinate an organized effort among my colleagues across government to oppose this project. I will continue to send your correspondence to the MBTA and BAI Communications, push for additional opportunities and venues for public input, and fight to make your voices and opinions heard, so please continue to send any information you have to my email.

I am including the MBTA’s official statement below.  Thank you again for all of your work on this issue and I encourage you to continue reaching out to me to share how this proposal threatens your safety, home values, and the cultural and historic character of your neighborhood.  Please feel free to reach out to me via email at Barbara.LItalien@masenate.gov or by calling my office at (617) 722-1612.

“The MBTA today announced that it is conducting a 30-day assessment of the project approved by the MBTA in 2014 to install equipment along MBTA commuter rail line corridors to provide customers with improved Wi-Fi and cellular service.  There will be no construction of poles or other infrastructure during this review, which will include comments and other feedback from customers, elected and appointed officials, and residents.  A presentation on the status of this project will be given to the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board at an upcoming meeting.”