MGNA: Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance

Information about our green line extension.

Month: October, 2012

Green Line Extension advisory group meeting postponed

29 October, 2012 (12:07) | Community Event, News | By: Editor

The Green Line Extension Project Team has postponed the Design Working Group meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 30, because of Hurricane Sandy and the uncertainty of the weather over the next few days.  A new date will be announced shortly.

Green Line Extension advisory group to meet Oct. 30

23 October, 2012 (17:23) | Community Event, News | By: Editor

The Green Line Extension Project Team will introduce the new Preliminary Engineering and Final Design consulting team for the project at a meeting of the GLX Design Working Group on Tuesday, October 30.

The new consulting team, a joint venture of AECOM and HNTB, received a Notice to Proceed on September 20. It will perform the engineering and final design work under the direction of HDR/Gilbane, which continues in the Project Management/Construction Management role.

Also at the meeting, the GLX Project Team will update the committee on progress on the FTA New Starts funding application, and the project schedule moving forward.

Groundbreaking for Phase I of the project is expected to take place next month, pending MBTA Board approval of the construction contract. Barletta Heavy Division Inc. was the apparent low bidder on the Phase I work, which will include the widening of two railroad bridges (over Harvard Street in Medford and over Medford Street in Somerville) to accommodate the additional Green Line tracks, and the demolition of the MBTA tire storage building at 21 Water Street in the Lechmere area.

The GLX Design Working Group, created in 2010, is an 18-member committee that assists and advises the MBTA on issues related to Green Line Extension station design, general construction matters, and other community concerns. The committee includes citizen and municipal representatives from Medford, Somerville and Cambridge, as well as officials from the MBTA, MassDOT, and Tufts University.

The October 30 Design Working Group meeting will be held at  the 51 Winthrop Street building on the Tufts campus in Medford (the former Sacred Heart Church, at the corner of Boston Avenue).

The building can be reached via MBTA bus routes 80, 94 and 96. Parking is available on Boston Avenue, along Capen Street Extension, in the Dowling Parking Garage on Boston Avenue, and in surface lots near Miller Hall and Hill Hall (Tufts  buildings). Accessible parking is available next to the 51 Winthrop Street building.

For access or language accommodations, contact Karen Arpino-Shaffer at 617-426-9570, ext 114 or

More information about the project is available on the Green Line Extension website.

Green Line Extension October status report

17 October, 2012 (22:55) | News | By: Editor

Here are highlights of the October status report on the Green Line Extension project, which is to be presented to the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization at its meeting on Thursday, October 18:

+ The MBTA has procured a new consulting team — a joint venture of AECOM and HNTB — that will extend the design through Advanced Preliminary Engineering (APE) and, upon approval from FTA, through Final Design. The team received a Notice to Proceed on September 20, and had a kick-off meeting with the Project Management/Construction Management team (HDR/Gilbane) on September 27.

+ The State Inspector General is anticipated to give final approval in fall 2012 for the use of the Construction Manager/General Contractor method on the Green Line Extension. This method already has been approved by the state legislature and MBTA board and signed into law by Governor Patrick.

+ The MBTA is appealing a decision by the State Building Inspector in regard to the design of the emergency egress from the end of four station platforms (College Avenue, Ball Square, Lowell Street and Union Square).

+  Concurrence with the City of Somerville is needed on which of a series of design options should be selected that will allow the MBTA paratransit service to safely and conveniently access the new Green Line station at Gilman Square

+ Coordination continues with NStar and MWRA with regard to revised station layouts at Ball Square.

+ Drainage issues and solutions at Washington Street Station and the Red Bridge-NorthPoint area are being evaluated

+ Alternative methods to provide Traction Power are under study

+ A design for a relocated second  entrance at Lechmere is under review

+ Options of how a future second  headhouse could be added at the Union Square station have been developed and are ready for review with the City of Somerville.

+ The phasing of the roadway improvements at Lechmere (O’Brien Highway, North First Street and Water Street), which are the responsibility of the NorthPoint development project, continue to be discussed between the GLX team and the NorthPoint developer, and the design of O’Brien Highway an item of discussion between NorthPoint, the City of Cambridge, and the members of the East Cambridge neighborhood.

+ The project also continues to coordinate the Viaduct design with the Archstone II development and the 22 Water Street developer.

+ Design work is complete for Phase I, which includes the widening of two railroad bridges (over Harvard Street in Medford and over Medford Street in Somerville) to accommodate the additional Green Line tracks, and the demolition of the MBTA tire storage building at 21 Water Street in the Lechmere area to provide parking and staging areas for the Phase 2/2A work.

+ A pre-award meeting was held with the apparent low bidder (Barletta Heavy Division, Inc.), and the General Manager is expected to award the contract for the Phase I work in late October/early November, with a Notice to Proceed and construction anticipated in late fall 2012.

+ A request for a Letter of No Prejudice, which would maintain eligibility for reimbursement from FTA for the Phase 1 work scope, was submitted to FTA on July 19, but early indications are that this request will not be approved. Consequently, this phase of the GLX Project will be funded completely by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

+ Project staff has met with the majority of the abutters to the Phase I work, including the area around Harvard Street in Medford, as well as representatives of Tufts University, the City of Medford and the City of Somerville.

+ In the coming months, separate public meetings will be held to introduce the Advanced Preliminary Engineering team and the Phase I contractor to the communities.

+ Now that the Advanced Conceptual design has been completed, the MBTA is developing a new estimate of the scope of work to complete the project and is working to identify new cost and schedule risks, and mitigate those previously identified in order to complete the project for an amount less than the $1.115 billion estimate.

+ The New Starts application is scheduled to be completed in the late spring/early summer of 2013 for submittal to the FTA in September 2013 to match the federal review cycle of New Starts applications. Without progress on this issue, in this time frame, the application cannot be completed and the review cycle may be missed, delaying project approvals and the corresponding start and finish dates for Final design and Construction.

Read the October Status Report here.

Ken Krause, MGNA