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Green Line extension could be cut back or canceled

When the state transportation board met today, they discussed three options:

  • Build the Green Line extension exactly as planned, with the cost escalations. This option looks pretty unlikely.
  • Cancel the project altogether. The option is stupid, given the legal commitments, the community and economic benefits, and the money already spent (and obtained from the federal government).
  • Find a way to cut back some of the costs and/or find additional funding. This option is clearly the way to go, and Somerville will fight to make sure the Green Line is built!

Check out the presentations they reviewed: Green Line Extension Project Review and Cost Reduction Opportunities. Read the media coverage below to see more details.

“State won’t rule out canceling Green Line extension” (Boston Globe)

“The state transportation board has not ruled out canceling the Green Line extension into Somerville and Medford, even though the state would need to spend about $742.3 million and forgo nearly $1 billion in secured federal money if the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority axed the project, officials said on Wednesday.”

“State begins pruning Green Line extension” (CommonWealth Magazine)

“One of the consultants characterized the Green Line extension in a way that brought back visions of the Big Dig, saying his research indicated the trolley line project as originally designed was the most expensive on a per-mile basis of any similar project in the databases of the Federal Transit Administration. The original cost estimate on the project was $2 billion, including $1 billion in federal funds, but the total cost ballooned earlier this year to $3 billion.”

“MBTA puts brakes on extension” (Boston Herald)

“Both the FMCB and the state Department of Transportation Board of Directors want more time to weigh their options with respect to the 4.7-mile extension, which T officials in August revealed could cost up to $1 billion more than its budgeted $1.99 billion price. ‘We need to leave all the options on the table until we have a path forward that is fiscally responsible,’ state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said.”

“Axing Green Line Extension Still On The Table, Pollack Says” (WBUR)

“While canceling the project is still a possibility, state officials are also considering other options. It appears clear that the boards aren’t interested in moving forward with the project as is. But some members seemed open to exploring ideas for redesigning and rebidding the project in order to cut costs. Those options were presented to the board on Wednesday by consultants tasked with charting a potential path forward.”

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