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State responds to public comments on the SIP

MassDOT released its response to many comments from the public that were made about the State Implementation Plan (SIP). A few highlights:

  • “MassDOT has been consistent in its support of an ultimate terminus from the Green Line Extension at Mystic Valley Parkway/Route 16, but has proposed that this final segment of the project be planned and constructed as a second phase. This is the case for financial reasons – the Commonwealth simply cannot afford it at this point – but also for planning and policy reasons. MassDOT learned a wealth of lessons from the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), and we feel that there is still a meaningful lack of consensus for a station at Mystic Valley Parkway/Route 16.”
  • Responding to resident complaints that the Phase 1 terminus at College Ave does not match the legal commitment to extend the Green Line to “Medford Hillside,” the State defends its interpretation and says, “MassDOT will no longer respond to this inquiry.”
  • Responding to comments that the Community Path should be built in advance as an interim offset measure, MassDOT responds, “construction of the extension of the Community Path prior to the construction of the Green Line Extension project would significantly complicate the construction of both projects….Early Path construction would mean that necessary retaining walls may not be in place and bridge abutments may not yet have been widened (such as for the underpass at Walnut Street). These issues would complicate the construction and increase the costs of both projects.”
  • On the Community Path from Brickbottom to Lechmere: “Connections on the southern end of the proposed Path extension have been discussed extensively with the City of Somerville, and MassDOT is working to design the Path extension with the long‐ term urban development goals of Somerville in mind. Any discussion of further Path connections beyond Inner Belt Road is premature until Somerville establishes a future vision for the Inner Belt area and necessary new infrastructure is constructed.”
  • The Green Line delay means the State is obligated to produce interim offset measures that improve regional air quality, but “in making decisions on interim offset measures, MassDOT will attempt, whenever reasonable, to identify measures that would also improve air quality directly in the project corridors associated with the delayed implementation of any projects.”
  • Funding update: “The funding strategy for the Green Line Extension remains the same as it has been throughout the project: to pursue federal funding through the federal New Starts discretionary funding program – a competitive program for which the Commonwealth must apply for funding – and to match that funding with Commonwealth dollars. MassDOT looks forward to working with the Legislature to amend the 2008 Bond Bill at the appropriate time in order to secure any additional necessary Commonwealth funding for the Green Line Extension project.”

Download the report (PDF).

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