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Yesterday, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), state and city of Salem officials held a ground-breaking ceremony for a new, $44.5 million commuter-rail station.The project will include a new, five-level parking facility that will hold up to 700 vehicles, and make available future transit-oriented development opportunities on nearby MBTA and city sites, MBTA officials said in a press release. The parking structure is scheduled to open by Oct. 1, 2014.The station is designed to support higher-frequency commuter-rail service, MBTA officials said. Currently, the Salem station is the second busiest on the commuter-rail system, averaging 2,400 boardings daily."As the busiest commuter-rail station on this line, Salem has long been in need of an appropriate, multi-modal transit hub, to anchor our downtown, accommodate commuters and serve as a suitable first impression to our vibrant city for visitors," said Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll.In December 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's board approved a station construction contract with Consigli Construction Inc.
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