Boston Herald: Assembly Square T stop hits a bump

  • Post category:Orange Line

Frustrating news comes in bunches: The new Orange Line stop is no longer on the fast track.
“Feds slam brakes on Assembly Square”

A massive plan to redevelop Assembly Square in Somerville is on the rocks after federal officials blocked efforts to fast-track construction of a $40 million MBTA station needed to support an explosion of retail shops and office space, the Herald has learned.
Federal transit officials confirmed they have nixed plans to build the proposed station under a streamlined regulatory process, delivering yet another blow to the train-deprived city after years of efforts to improve public transit.
Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone insisted the T station – considered a linchpin for the Assembly Square development – will not be thrown off course.
“You can rest assured, that T stop is going to get built,” Curtatone said last night. “In the end, this is going to be inconsequential. All systems are go.”
But sources with knowledge of the situation said the MBTA now expects to miss an early September deadline for submitting an application to get funding for the station. That means T officials must go back to the drawing board for months of work to develop cost-benefit data needed for a more detailed regulatory review
The snafu arose after the Federal Transit Administration found that the proposed T station does not qualify for its “Very Small Starts” program, which allows transit projects to bypass regulatory hurdles.