MBTA has started work at its rail yard.
MBTA has started work at its rail yard. (NASHOBA VALLEY VOICE/SCOTT SHURTLEFF)

AYER --The MBTA has begun work on the long-awaited fencing around the seldom-used rail yard on the south side of the tracks. Coming on the heels of the town's procurement of $4 million funding grant, the fence marks the first significant construction the MBTA has performed in a decade.

"The place is a public-safety issue and an eyesore," said state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, referring to the 265 feet of 6-foot-tall, chain-link steel fence. "I'm glad they're finally taking the first steps to make it look nice."

Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) will augment the MBTA's work by conducting some infrastructure improvements to the underground water system in Depot Square.

Bids have been submitted to MART, the overseeing entity for the overall station upgrade. In the grand design is a two-level parking garage that will double the number of cars that can park within the same space; and a station, adjacent to the stop, complete with public restrooms and indoor waiting area.

MART spokesman Bruno Fisher said the funding, which has been available for more than a decade but stymied by red tape, is finally approved for release. The two-tiered project includes the soon-to-be-started ground work, pending bid acceptance; and the structural work slated for spring.