Moving a postal facility has added up to 40 minutes daily to some letter carriers’ travel time, according to a U.S. Postal Service labor leader, resulting from changes underway in Cambridge’s rapidly changing Alewife Quadrangle area.
The U.S. Postal Service moved from its 15 Mooney St. location housing its Porter Square Carrier Annex on April 22 after receiving notice that its lease in Cambridge’s Alewife Quadrangle wouldn’t be renewed. The facility, registered under a Healthpeak Properties subsidiary, is assumed to become part of the company’s 36-acre life sciences campus
Placing the new annex approximately 4.5 miles east at 33 Cobble Hill Road in Somerville’s Inner Belt has had an impact on letter carrier operations. According to Tom Rooney, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 34, carriers now spend extra time traveling from the Somerville annex to their routes in Cambridge. He believes additional routes will need to be created to stay within workers’ eight-hour time limit, but won’t know for sure until an inspection of the routes is complete.
“It’s basically the travel time. I don’t think it affected the distribution part of it too much because the mail is sorted and distributed in other plants anyhow, but the carrier traveling from Somerville probably went from maybe a five- to 10-minute drive to probably anywhere from a half-hour to 45 minutes difference,” he said.