MGNA: Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance

Information about our green line extension.

Category: News

Broadway Bridge reopens at Ball Square

8 July, 2015 (16:13) | News | By: Editor


Announcement from the Green Line Extension Project Team: As of the end of today, July 8, Broadway Bridge in Ball Square in Somerville will be reopened to all lanes of traffic. Both sidewalks will be opened as well. The GLX contractor White Skanska Kiewit (WSK) has constructed the utility bridge structure that necessitated this lane closure, which began back in January of this year.

The next step in this Broadway utility bridge work is that Verizon will be continuing to perform cut-overs through July and will be in and out of their manholes on either side of the bridge. Eversource is also anticipated to be installing new manholes and conduit in and across Broadway and will require some lane closures during their operation – this work should commence later this month and continue through September.

Thank you for your patience cooperation during this work. It is an important step in bringing the Green Line from Cambridge to Medford and Somerville. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact the Green Line Extension at 855-GLX-INFO (459-4636) or


MBTA requests opinion on need for further environmental review at College Ave. Station

6 July, 2015 (10:09) | News | By: Editor


The MBTA has asked the state Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) to determine whether additional environmental review is needed for the College Avenue Station on the Green Line Extension, due to the addition of a Tufts University academic building being planned adjacent to the station.

In its June 30 Request for an Advisory Opinion from the EEA, the MBTA said it feels the addition of the Tufts building to the scope of the project does not require additional environmental review, because the changes do not result in additional or different environmental impacts of the GLX. Those impacts, and associated mitigation measures, were described in the project’s Final Environmental Impact Report, which the EEA office certified in June 2010.

The EEA Secretary will determine whether the MBTA must make an additional filing under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act to address the potential impacts and mitigation resulting from the addition of the Tufts building to the scope of the project, including land transfers.

The MBTA has also asked the EEA to hold a public comment period on its Request for an Advisory Opinion, which is not required but may be conducted at the Secretary’s discretion.
If the Secretary concurs, the public comment period would take place from July 8 through July 28, with the Secretary issuing an advisory opinion within 20 days of the close of that comment period.

The MBTA’s Request for an Advisory Opinion letter is available on the project website.

GLX Working Group meeting notes for Feb. 23

24 February, 2015 (12:33) | Advisory Committee Notes, News | By: Editor

Here are some notes from the Green Line Extension Working Group meeting on Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, at the Center for the Arts and the Armory in Somerville:

Project Overview and Updates – Karen Arpino-Shaffer, HDR Gilbane
The full funding grant agreement with the Federal Transit Administration was signed in December, which will provide $996 million in federal funds for the project.

In Spring 2015, work will commence for Contract 4 – construction of the Lechmere, Washington Street and Union Square stations, and interlocking and retaining wall work around College Avenue Station.

In Fall 2015, work will commence for Contract 5 – construction of the stations at Gilman Square, Lowell Street, Ball Square and College Avenue.

Station Design Update – Randy Henke, AECOM/HNTB
The 90% design plans will be submitted on March 6 for the Gilman Square, Lowell Street and Ball Square stations. Station footprints have been established and work is continuing on selection of materials, finishes, and other details. The 100% designs for these three stations are due on June 1. (The 100% design plans for the Lechmere, Washington Street and Union Square stations were submitted in November 2014.)

Gilman Station – Few significant changes. The doors to the entrance/exit at the Community Path have been reconfigured to improve safety and accessibility and reduce potential conflicts with path users.

Lowell Street Station – Few significant changes. The area in front of the station has been reconfigured to create more of a gathering space and improve accessibility.

Ball Square Station – The head house has been narrowed by about 25 feet. The path from the top of the Broadway Bridge to the station has been rerouted and shortened. The traction power substation size has been reduced. The bicycle storage cage has been moved and expanded. There is now more land available for potential transit-oriented development at the station.

College Avenue Station – The 90% design plans will not be submitted with the other three stations on March 6. The project team is continuing to meet weekly with Tufts University about its desire to construct a building behind and partially on top of the station, which it informed the MBTA of last August. The MBTA and Tufts have signed a memorandum of understanding that “commits to a process of working together, with the city, with the neighborhood,” with regard to the proposed Tufts building. The MOA also states that the Tufts building must not delay the scheduled opening of the station or increase its budget. “That station will open on time no matter what Tufts decides to do,” Arpino-Shaffer said.

The introduction of the future Tufts building will likely change the location of the new right-turn lane from College Avenue to Boston Avenue (putting three lanes on the College Avenue bridge on the same side of the large MWRA water pipe, rather than two lanes on one side and the turn-lane on the other side, as previously proposed) and also re-routing the path from the Burget Avenue neighborhood to the station.

Tufts has been meeting with City of Medford officials and station neighbors to discuss its building proposal. The project team and Tufts intend to have a joint public meeting  with the city and neighbors with a presentation on the revised station design once it has become more definitive.

Construction Update – Chris Hersey, WSK
Steel has been ordered for the new rail bridge at Washington Street; pre-construction surveying at Washington Street is about 75% to 80% complete.

A permanent construction office has opened at 200 Innerbelt Road.

Test pits are being dug at Broadway Bridge and at School Street, where temporary utility bridges will be built, and at Medford Street (near Somerville High School). A traffic management zone is in place on the Broadway Bridge, as well as a drill rig. The Broadway Bridge steel is being fabricated.

Soil sampling, classification and removal is taking place throughout the project; also groundwater testing. Trash clean-up/removal and grubbing is taking place in the Red Bridge area and other project areas to prepare for construction.

Grand Junction drill rig setup is about 60% complete.

In Cambridge, early drainage work and haul road creation is about to begin in earnest. Drainage work plans also are being finalized near Boston Sand & Gravel.

Determination of station names is likely to be made by the MBTA in the next few months. For example, Washington Street Station will have a different name because a Washington Street Station already exists on the Green Line.

Upcoming Meetings
Medford/College Avenue  - March/April
Washington Street/Union Square Stations – April
Lechmere Station – April
Community Path – March/April
Lowell Street/Gilman Square Station Design – May
Ball Square/College Avenue Station Design – May
Working Group – TBD

- Ken Krause
Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance