Orient Heights MBTA station was the forgotten child in the MBTA’s Blue Line modernization project. As Wood Island, Suffolk Downs, Airport and Maverick stations were all refurbished, the first two mentioned in rapid succession, budget woes and state fiscal problems in the early 2000s stalled the latter. While the economy rebounded in the mid-2000s, Orient Heights residents watched as Logan and then later Maverick were funded and completed but 2008s financial collapse seemed to threaten Orient Heights once again.
However, funding was secured, the project was fully designed and a year ago construction began.
While Eastie commuters had to endure an eight-month closure of Orient Heights, the almost yearlong disruption to service was worth it.
Now, like the four other stations in Eastie, Orient Heights is sleek, modern, up to code and handicap accessible.
It is also the product of a community process and, like Maverick, which was completed a few years back, is what the community envisioned and wanted.
But perhaps the icing on the cake is local businessman Joe Ruggiero’s commitment to the completed project.
As part of the Orient Heights Station project, the MBTA incorporated new landscape design and plantings.
Ruggerio, who attended months of meeting regarding the new stations design, said he would step up, adopt the landscaped space and pay for its maintenance.
That’s what we call being a good neighbor.