Carr Lot Multi-Modal Transit Center & Confluence Park
The site known as the "Carr Lot Property" is located on the east side of Taylor Street in the city of Montpelier at the confluence of the North Branch and Winooski Rivers. It is approximately one acre in size.
Up until recently, it was leased by the City as a public parking lot, accommodating approximately 100 vehicles. Vermont Transit Company used to use the property as an intrastate bus station. Due to environmental concerns, the site has been closed for public use.
Centrally located in the downtown business district at the confluence of two rivers and adjacent to the State's Capitol Complex, the City of Montpelier hopes to transform what was once a scrap yard and train depot into a state-of-the-art transportation and commercial center and public park.
Carr Lot Committee
The conservation commission began exploring the potential for redeveloping this site back in 1998. In 2001, the City Council formed and appointed members to an official Carr Lot Redevelopment Committee to further investigate the feasibility of redeveloping this site and to help the Council and community determine whether the City should pursue purchasing it.
The citizens of Montpelier voted in March 2002 to authorize the City council to spend up to $800,000 for the purchase and redevelopment of this property.
History of the Site
The site's environmental concerns emanate from its uses as a marble yard, train depot, train maintenance facility, and agricultural warehouse in the 1800s, as a stone mason's shop and transportation depot in the 1900s, and as a scrap metal salvage and processing yard from 1945 until the early 1980s. The City currently leases the property for use as a parking lot. The City has a "right of first refusal" to purchase the property. A property value assessment was completed in November 2001.
The site is has become contaminated through materials associated with past uses. There were two known fires at the site involving a former crane building and an adjacent office shed. An underground petroleum storage tank was removed in 1991 and an aboveground storage tank containing kerosene was once present at the site.
December 2001, fieldwork for a Targeted Brownfields Assessment (TBA) was performed at the site. The August 2002 TBA Report prepared by Metcalf & Eddy identified the following indications of environmental contamination:
Specifically, surface soil collected from ten locations indicated surface soil contamination with PCBs, petroleum hydrocarbons (EPH), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and metals including arsenic, chromium and lead. Three subsurface soil samples did not indicate reportable levels of PCBs, EPH, or PAHs. Arsenic was detected in the subsurface soil samples but at a lower concentration than the surface soil samples. The highest concentrations of these contaminants appear to be located in the center of the site near the former railroad tracks and junk processing areas. Groundwater obtained from three groundwater monitoring wells indicated elevated levels of iron, manganese and sodium. Samples obtained from two of these wells contained trichloroethene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE) above the VGES.
- fill materials with elevated head space readings for volatile organic compounds(VOCs),
- surface and subsurface soil containing polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and metals at concentrations above EPA Region IX Preliminary Remediation Goals (PRGs),
- surface soil with elevated petroleum hydrocarbons in the vicinity of a reported former above ground storage tank,
- groundwater samples with VOCs, perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene, and metals in excess of Vermont Groundwater Enforcement Standards.
Adjacent properties to the north of the site have reported releases of hazardous substances including petroleum hydrocarbons from leaking underground storage tanks associated with former and current automobile service garage and gasoline stations as well as chlorinated solvents associated with a former dry-cleaning operation.
A Field Task Work Plan Amendment for the site has been accepted and field work was completed in November 2002. A report was submitted in 2003 (see plans & public involvement)
The site has been placed on the State's hazardous sites list and is requesting further investigation. The City has, as the prospective purchaser, taken on the responsibility to investigate and cleanup the site through the Brownfields program. The City has also requested from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources an application to participate in the Redevelopment of Contaminated Properties Program and is prepared to pay the application fee and other required escrow fees in order to be a participant.
In December, 2002, the City submitted an Brownfields Clean-up Grant pre-application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, New England Division.
Site Plan for Multi-Modal Transit Center