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New lighting, stairwell repairs for parking garage

BRATTLEBORO—The Transportation Center will soon have additional LED lighting and repairs to a portion of its west stairwell, May 7.

The Selectboard has approved spending $19,300 to add a third row of LED lights to the parking garage’s inner floors. Cleveland Electric of Brattleboro will install the new lighting.

Last year, the board included funding for the project in the FY2019 budget after several public discussions at board meetings where community members said they didn’t feel safe using the Transportation Center, especially at night.

Responding to board members’ questions about long-term costs, Elwell said that the LED lights are a cost-effective form of lighting.

“But it’s additional lighting, so there will be an additional cost,” Ewell said.

Stairs exposed to the weather

The Transportation Center will also receive needed repairs between the third and fourth floors of the west stairwell, beside the Flat Street vehicular entrance. The stairs were in such disrepair that the town had closed a portion of them, said Elwell.

Bellco Excavating of Brattleboro won the bid to repair the stairs for $68,000.

Brattleboro broke ground on the Transportation Center in 2003.

Approximately 15 years is not a long lifespan for stairs, the board noted.

Elwell explained that the stairs had originally been designed as interior stairs. To save money, the plans were changed, and the stairs became external.

The concrete used to build them, however, was intended for internal use and was not intended to be exposed to New England weather.

Elwell said the repairs will use materials intended for exterior work “so they can stand the test of time.”

Board member Daniel Quipp suggested using the Transportation Center for parties or other community gatherings so the space would feel more welcoming.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #510 (Wednesday, May 15, 2019). This story appeared on page A3.

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