On Monday, June 25, Federal, state and city officials joined community partners at the official groundbreaking of the Green Line Extension (GLX) Project. Held at the future site of Union Square Station in Somerville, the event was attended by Governor Charlie Baker, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, and MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramírez, Congressmen Mike Capuano, Congresswoman Katherine Clark and other officials.
Secretary Chao announced the release of $225 million in federal funding for GLX, representing the second installment of federal support for the project. She said the Green Line Extension project “will improve mobility, access to jobs, schools and the quality of life for tens of thousands of passengers in the Boston area.”
Governor Baker said the Green Line Extension “will improve access to education, housing and job opportunities across the entire MTBA system. Our administration is grateful for the collaboration and support we have received from Secretary Chao and all partners at the federal, state and local level to reach this milestone and begin a project that will have a transformational impact on this region of the Commonwealth by accommodating riders and spurring economic growth.”
“Lt. Governor Polito said that “residents across the region will benefit greatly from having expanded service in Somerville, Cambridge and Medford. The Green Line Extension is a key project in our administration’s work to increase transit options for travelers across the Commonwealth.”
Congressman Mike Capuano called it “a terrific day for Somerville and Cambridge. The Green Line Extension is moving forward and I look forward to the ribbon cutting. I appreciate the effort and commitment of all our Green Line partners, especially the residents who have fought so hard to keep this project alive.”
Congresswoman Katherine Clark said the project “will bring long-awaited environmental justice, public health benefits, and economic development to our community. I’m thrilled to celebrate this milestone and remain committed to expanding access to public transportation throughout the Commonwealth.”
Transportation Secretary Pollack called the groundbreaking “another milestone in the concerted efforts it took in making GLX a reality. I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for its leadership, thank Somerville and Cambridge for financial contributions, and express appreciation to John Dalton and the GLX project team for their continued hard work in propelling GLX forward.”
MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramírez said, “thanks to our federal, state, and municipal partners and a lot of hard work by a determined MBTA staff, we’ve made this project a reality.”
In November 2017, the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board voted unanimously to award the design and construction contract to GLX Constructors,which is comprised of Flour Enterprises, Middlesex Corp., Herzog Contracting Corp., and Balfour Beatty Infrastructure.
The total project cost is approximately $2.3 billion, which includes other project components such as real estate, professional services, contingency, and procurement of 24 new trolleys to augment the existing Green Line fleet, the first of which is anticipated to enter service in fall 2018 with all cars anticipated to be complete by early 2019.
Design and pre-construction work, such as vegetation clearing and utility location along the right of way, is currently underway. Heavy construction is expected to start this fall with the project scheduled to enter the testing phase in late 2020 and the extension operational in late 2021.
In addition the Green Line Extension offers these benefits:
- A one-seat ride from the project corridor to downtown Boston, (eliminating the need for bus and rail transfers at Lechmere Station and at Orange and Red Line stations) improving travel times within the project corridor.
- A projected reduction in regional daily Vehicle Miles Traveled by 25,728 miles, improving air quality and reducing automobile congestion.
- Daily ridership (boardings and alightings) at the seven Green Line Extension stations of approximately 45,000 by 2030. The majority of those trips will be made beginning in the first year of service on the Green Line Extension.
- A commitment to universal access, with new stations that will meet or exceed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
- Operation in existing railroad rights-of-way, reducing the need to purchase local property and minimizing construction impacts.
- Mitigation measures that will reduce existing noise and vibration impacts from area railroads.