MGNA: Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance

Information about our green line extension.

Month: March, 2013

MassDOT Green Line Extension March status report

17 March, 2013 (22:24) | Documents, News | By: Editor

MassDOT has posted the March status report on the Green Line Extension project. Below are highlights of new information since the February report:

Design Progress
The designs of Ball Square and Gilman Square Stations have proceeded, taking into consideration the design study at Ball Square, the City of Somerville’s “Somervision” process, and the ideas accepted from the Value Engineering study. Overall, the size of the stations has been reduced by about 10 percent.

In order to reach resolution of egress issues, the MBTA submitted a variance request to gain acceptance of the Advanced Conceptual Design of the emergency egress from the end of four station platforms (College Avenue, Ball Square, Lowell Street and Union Square). In early March, these variance requests were all granted, allowing for design to proceed on the emergency egress elements off the end of these station platforms.

The project team has continued to meet and coordinate design issues with representatives from the three communities including: (1) A meeting with the City of Somerville and Friends of the Community Path on the path connections in the Red Bridge area and met with the City of Cambridge on interim parking near Lechmere Station; (2) A meeting with the City of Medford on the revised Ball Square plans; (3) Meetings with the City of Somerville and the City of Medford on the Phase 1 Construction Plan, a local abutters meeting for the work around the Harvard Street bridge location as well as one with the general public in regard to the Phase 1 work.

As a follow-up to the January 2013 Coordination meeting with the Mass Historic Commission on the details of the viaduct demolition, a Historical American Engineering Report (HAER) is being prepared for submittal in March 2013.

Real Estate
The GLX Relocation Plan has been submitted to the FTA for comment. Additional schedules to implement the real estate acquisition process in a prioritized manor are being developed in conjunction with the MBTA’s Real Estate department and then will be incorporated into the overall program schedule.

The real estate process to permit Phase 1 construction work to proceed is now complete, with compensation made to all property owners affected by the Phase 1 construction, and the necessary temporary construction access licenses have been executed.

Appraisals are ongoing on the properties needed to be acquired for the Vehicle Maintenance facility, which will be an L-shaped facility near the Boston Engine Terminal in Somerville to be built in Phase 3.  As the maintenance facility and full storage yard are not needed to support initial passenger service to Washington Street and Union Square (Phases 2/2A), this phase has been scheduled to be complete some six months ahead of the date for revenue service to College Avenue (Phase 4, completion date July 2019). It is anticipated that the relocation activities of the current occupants of the maintenance facility site will be completed by the end of 2015 such that site cleanup and demolition can start shortly thereafter.

– Ken Krause, Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance

Summary of Green Line Extension abutters’ meeting

6 March, 2013 (01:14) | Community Event, News | By: Editor


Here is a summary of the Medford Abutters’ Meeting for Phase I of the Green Line Extension project, attended by more than 100 people at the St. Clement School cafeteria on Tuesday night:

Phase I of the project consists of three main elements: reconstruction of the rail bridges over Harvard Street in Medford and over Medford Street in Somerville to accommodate the eventual addition of two Green Line tracks alongside the existing commuter rail tracks, and the demolition of an MBTA building at 21 Water St. in Cambridge, which will become part of the site of the new Lechmere Station.

The Phase I contractor, Barletta Heavy Division Inc., and its subcontractors have 26 months to complete the work – from February 2013 through March 2015.

The Harvard Street bridge reconstruction is the most complex of the three Phase I elements, due to the additional roadway and utility relocation work involved. Reconstructing the Harvard Street bridge and associated work is scheduled to take place from February 2013 to November 2014.

The Harvard Street bridge is located between the Ball Square and College Avenue stations on the Green Line Extension, near St. Clement School and the Tufts Science and Technology Center on Colby Street. It currently has two tracks, which carry commuter rail trains to/from Lowell, the Amtrak Downeaster train to/from Maine, and occasional freight and MBTA work trains.

There are two main aspects to the job – the work that will take place on the bridge to accommodate the Green Line, and the work on the ground such as roadway and utility work to address flooding issues.

Elements of the bridge work for the Green Line include:

+ Construction of abutments, retaining walls and noise walls
+ Raising the bridge by 18 inches
+ Widening the bridge surface to accommodate two additional Green Line tracks
+ Moving the commuter rail tracks east to their new, final location

– Noise walls will be built on top of the retaining walls on both sides of the Harvard Street bridge where the commuter rail tracks are being relocated in this phase (some additional noise walls will be added in Phase 4). The noise walls on the south side of Harvard Street will extend to Winchester Place.

Elements of the roadway/flood control work include:

+ Raising the Harvard Street pavement surface by 15 inches (bridge clearance will remain the same as it is today)

+ Replacing a 19th-century, 24-inch brick storm drain pipe with a modern 30 inch pipe.

– The current pipe runs south from Harvard Street under the commuter rail tracks, then turns east under Winchester Place, then south under Winchester Street to Granville Ave., where it connects to a 30-inch pipe.

– The new pipe will run under Harvard Street east to Winchester Street, then south under Winchester Street to Granville Ave. and its current connection.

– About 80 percent of the current flooding conditions are expected to be alleviated. At times after heavy rains, water has been more than 2 feet deep under the Harvard Street bridge. Following this work, the water depth is expected to be no more than 4 inches deep, or less than curb height.

– The construction of the new draining pipe is expected to take place between April and June of this year. Work will begin at the Granville Ave. end of Winchester Street and be conducted in work zones of about 200 to 250 feet. About 170 feet of Winchester Street will be closed at any one time, with restricted access for an additional 50 to 100 feet on either side.

+ Harvard Street will be reduced to a single lane under the bridge during times of major work such as bridge abutment construction. Lane restrictions are only permitted between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

+ Harvard Street is expected to be closed entirely on approximately 6 or 7 weekends during the 26 months of the project, and not on consecutive weekends. This would only occur for the demolition or installation of a major section of the bridge, or for the raising of the road surface. The first weekend closure is anticipated in September 2013, with another in June 2014, and the remainder after November 2014.

+ On the weekends of full Harvard Street closure, a detour route has been devised that would include Broadway, Medford Street, Main Street and College Avenue.

+ A rodent control program will be initiated two weeks before construction begins and continue throughout the project. Bait traps are expected to be installed every 60 to 100 feet along the commuter rail tracks, starting next Tuesday, and checked weekly. Rodent activity is most common during excavation work.

+ There will be a separate meeting on noise walls with abutters; the surface treatment and color, etc., are still to be decided.

+ Actual Green Line service to the Ball Square and College Avenue stations in Medford is scheduled to be open in mid-2019, along with service to the stations at Lowell Street and Gilman Square in Somerville. Service at the new Lechmere Station and to the new stations at Union Square and Washington Street in Somerville is scheduled to begin in spring 2017.

Robert Chevrier, principal at St. Clement School raised questions about the impact of the construction noise on classroom sessions; limited pedestrian access to the school, St. Clement Church, and athletic practices at the Tufts field; and the accommodation of after-school pick-up and funeral processions to St. Clement Church. Mayor McGlynn and the project team are scheduled to meet with Mr. Chevrier on Friday to discuss these and other matters.

+ The St. Clement custodian asked whether flooding into the school building could be addressed. The project team noted that in addition to the 30-inch sewer drain pipe being installed, a new pipe also is proposed to be added underneath/across Boston Avenue to relieve some of the upstream runoff.

+ A resident suggested that on the weekends that Harvard Street is closed, the MBTA’s Ride Program could provide free shuttle service to residents who normally walk to services at St. Clement Church.

+ Two residents suggested potential temporary parking locations for residents when their regular parking areas are unavailable or inaccessible.

+ A resident asked about studies of existing noise levels and projected increase; those studies are available on the project website,

+ A resident asked about construction equipment staging and worker parking. Construction vehicles are not allowed to be left on city streets overnight; they will be parked at a surface lot on Harvard Street and within the MBTA right-of-way adjacent to the tracks. Project team subcontractors are informed in advance that there is no employee parking available onsite.

+ Another Phase I construction overview meeting will take place on Thursday, March 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Somerville Holiday Inn, 30 Washington Street, Somerville. The presentation at that meeting will be similar to Tuesday’s, with more detail on the Somerville and Cambridge elements of Phase I.

+ Tuesday’s PowerPoint presentation will be posted on the Green Line Extension website,, which contains previous meeting presentations and minutes, reports and studies about the extension project.

+ The website will include two-week “look-aheads” providing advance notice of the upcoming schedule in detail, traffic updates and construction photos.

+ The project team provides project updates via e-mail to more than 6,000 subscribers. To subscribe to the list, send an email to

+ The Phase I construction team has opened a field office at 399 Main Street, Suite 3, in Medford, above the Toni’s by George take-out restaurant.

+ A hotline for questions or concerns has been created at 1-855-GLX-INFO.

Karen Arpino-Shaffer, HDR/Gilbane
Mary Ainsley, Senior Director, MBTA Design and Construction Department
Seta Kalaijian, Barletta Heavy Division, Project Manager
David Shanks, Barletta Heavy Division, Project Superintendent
Peter Matson, HDR/Gilbane
Mike Landry, HDR/Gilbane, Project Engineer
Lauren Nylander, HDR/Gilbane, Senior Office Engineer
Lee McConnell, HDR/Gilbane, Project Manager
Jeff Sarin, MBTA, Green Line Extension Project Manager
Tim Sheehan, HDR/Gilbane, Project Manager
Bill McClellan, MBTA Head of Green Line Operations

Michael J. McGlynn, Mayor
Leo A. Sacco Jr., Police Chief
Fred Dello Russo Jr., City Councilor
Cassandra Koutalidis, City Engineer
Paul Mochi, Building Commissioner
Paul Gere, Commissioner of Public Works
Joe Hurley, Superintendent of Wires
Clodagh Stoker-Long, Economic Development Planner, Community Development
Laura Glynn, Housing Development Specialist, Community Development

– Ken Krause, Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance

MBTA seeks cost estimator for Green Line Extension

5 March, 2013 (16:48) | Documents, News | By: Editor

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is soliciting professional Independent Cost Estimating services for the MBTA Green Line Extension (GLX) Project. The MBTA encourages the economic growth of professional services firms through broad solicitation and award of contracts. All capable firms are invited to submit Statements of Qualifications (SOQ) in accordance with the instructions presented in this solicitation.

The services are sought from firms experienced in project cost estimating in CSI format for public transportation projects. The selected consultant, herein referred to as the Independent Cost Estimator (ICE), must perform the required cost estimating services in an independent manner with no conflicts of interest.

Anticipated Scope of Work

The ICE will provide construction cost estimating services for the GLX Project, as directed by the MBTA. The MBTA plans to use Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) for contract delivery, with separate construction packages being issued through Interim Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) contracts. The ICE will participate with the CM/GC and the MBTA’s Program Manager/Construction Manager (PM/CM) in the development of interim GMP(s) for the work packages.

The ICE services are anticipated to be required throughout the term of the Green Line Extension Project and will be authorized in separate task orders issued by the MBTA according to the assignments and goals established in the project schedule for these services. More information on this will be issued to the most qualified firms in the Request for Proposals phase of this solicitation.

Disciplines of cost estimating include, but are not limited to, bridge, station, railroad and maintenance facility. Interested firms should be familiar with high voltage systems, systems (signals & communication, positive train control, traction power, etc.), special track (switches, crossovers) work, and retaining wall alternate types installed within the corridor. This listing is not intended to be exhaustive but illustrative for the interested firms.

The current phasing of the project anticipate a series of work packages, which result in separate interim G M P, for each Phase of the Project, with (at least) early work components and final work packages issued separately during the course of the Phase’s delivery.

Green Line Extension Project Phases

GLX construction is anticipated to be phased as follows:

1. Phase 2/2A – Service from new Lechmere Station to Washington Street Station and Union Square Station.
2. Phase 3 – Vehicle Maintenance Facility and Storage Yard.
3. Phase 4 – Service from Washington Street Station to College Avenue Station.

(The Phase 1 construction contract already has been awarded. That work consists primarily of widening two rail bridges and demolishing an MBTA building.)

Statements of qualifications are due no later than March 29, 2013, at 2 p.m.

Additional information on the Green Line Extension project can be obtained at the project website.

Source: MBTA public notice