80% of the extension of the Green Line (GLX) to Somerville and Medford has been completed, but there are still ways to go.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the GLX team shared updates on construction progress and confirmed some lengthy-awaited opening dates. The Union Square branch will begin in December as part of Line D, and the five-station Medford branch will begin in May 2022 on Line E.
MBTA prepares for the coming with “supercars” on the green line
The MBTA says the opening of the Green Line extension will be delayed by several months
John Dalton, GLX Program Director, shared a little history about the project, stating that its main goal was to mitigate the environmental impacts of the Central Artery Project, or “Big Hole,” in Boston. When GLX is completed, 80% of Somerville will be within walking distance of rail transit, compared to the current 20%.
GLX technically includes seven stations: an upgrade to the existing Lechmere station, Union Square (its own branch), then East Somerville, Gilman Square, Magoun Square, Ball Square, and Medford/Tufts. The project also included a unused vehicle maintenance facility and an extension of the community trail.
“From a big picture standpoint, we are now at the 80 percent completion point, which is a lengthy way to go,” Dalton said. “We’ve come a lengthy way — but the final 20 percent is not without challenges.”
Dalton shared a piece of pleasing news about the funding. In 2016, Cambridge and Somerville committed $25 million and $50 million respectively to aid fund the project, to be paid in instalments. Dalton said the MBTA will reject the final few payments, and will likely return the packed amount when the project closes next summer.
“These two cities rose at a time that was decisive and decisive,” Dalton said. “It’s a pleasing news story to be competent to say ‘thank you’ and ‘fortunately we’re in a position to not need it, and you’ll get it back. “
Dalton noted that they are not out of the woods yet – the pandemic continues to affect supply chains and workforce availability. With a lot of work behind them, the next step is to test and get the systems up and running.
“In the coming weeks and months, the public will start to see Green Line trains running along the alignment,” he said. “For a while, this will be part of the testing process, so it will be very exciting to see trolleys running along the Green Line, but don’t immediately interpret that to unkind that we are about to begin up a system for service, we will still be away even when we see those trains running. “.
Somerville Mon. Pat Glenn toured East Somerville station and a section of the community trail, which she said has distinguished views of the city. Somerville State Representatives. Kristen Barber and Mike Connolly shared their enthusiasm for the opportunities the line would provide for the region, and cautioned against taking a measured approach.
“We understand that as the GLX moves forward, it raises ground value and creates additional displacement pressure,” Connolly said. “So, even following the project is completed, we will need to address these issues. … We have to preserve working to make sure that people who have waited for this for so many years can stay in our community and like the benefits of these transportation improvements.”
Subscribe to newsletters
Stay up to date with the latest news from Boston.com