Construction update from the Green Line team

  • Post category:Green Line


General Information
After years of community advocacy and planning, the GLX was given an official “Notice to Proceed” in December 2017, and work is already underway with completion expected by late 2021, which is a contractual obligation by the GLX contractors. The GLX contract team is currently mobilizing at each of the six station areas, and you will begin to see work happening in April around each of these station areas (Union Square, Washington Street, Gilman Square, Lowell Street, Ball Square, and College Ave. in Medford). Preliminary work throughout the month of April will include tree removal, digging test pits, and pest control. More significant construction is expected to begin in summer 2018. Note: you may start to see some larger equipment along the rail corridor beginning in the spring; however, this does not mean that excavation or major construction is beginning at that time. Arrival of equipment is part of the pre-construction preparation.
During the heavier construction, there may also be some night and weekend work. If you are signed up for updates (see the end of this email), you will receive schedules and information as they become available to us. Whether or not you are signed up for the email updates, the City will notify you with 48 hours advance notice (when possible) of any planned work that will impact you outside of normal activities (such as excessive noise or night work).

Pre-Construction Surveys
Over the next six months, GLX contractors will also be contacting property owners in specific areas to conduct pre-construction property surveys. The purpose of pre-construction surveys is to document existing property conditions prior to construction. While not required, the surveys provide important documentation should property owners notice damage to their property during or after construction. Without proper documentation of conditions before construction, it may be difficult to demonstrate how or if damage may have been done to a particular property as a result of the project. Impacted properties will be notified directly by the GLX team.

Test Pits

Test pits are a common construction practice. Prior to the start of any excavation, construction crews dig small “test pits” to be sure that the underground infrastructure and utilities are in proper order and that the construction plan can proceed accordingly. Typically, test pits are only several feet wide and do not involve significant work or impacts to abutters. Test pits for the GLX will be dug intermittently along the length of the rail line prior to the start of regular construction activity that will begin later in the spring.

Tree Removal
Tree and vegetation removal work will begin this month. Trees will only be removed from the MBTA Commuter Rail Right of Way and from temporary easement areas where land owners have been previously notified. In advance of any tree removal, pest control measures will begin in surrounding areas. The GLX team has and will continue to leave door hangers (paper notices) on properties directly abutting this work in advance of the start of tree removal. This work will incremental, beginning at the College Ave. end of the project, continuing eastward in the coming months. Tree removal work in 2018 will only occur on the east side of the rail right of way. In 2019, additional tree removal work is planned on the western side of the right of way.

Rodent Abatement & Pest Control
Rodent abatement and pest control will occur both before and during construction activities. In the Gilman Square area, the GLX team is working closely with the City and project contractors for the Somerville High School project, particularly around rodent control, as both projects will be under construction during the same period of time. The GLX team will carry out rodent control measures using leading best practices, within the MBTA Commuter Rail Right of Way, as well as on temporary easement properties, with the aim of minimizing impacts to surrounding areas. But as some rodents from disrupted rail areas may travel into abutting neighborhoods to seek food and new shelter despite these aggressive efforts, it is imperative that the City and residents take necessary steps to reduce rodent activity. With the guidance of a national rodent control expert, the City will be conducting intensified integrated pest management throughout the project to reduce potential impacts. Residents will receive further information on actions they too can take and on services available including our Residential Rodent Abatement Program. For now, if you see rodent activity anywhere in the city, please report it to 311 (617-666-3311) to help inform both City and GLX team efforts.

Utility Work
It is common during larger construction projects to need to coordinate with utility companies (like Eversource or National Grid) to conduct repairs and replacements to underground utilities. Therefore, you may also see utility companies on site at various times throughout the project. If there are impacts to your gas service, water service, or electricity you will be notified by the utility company and, in certain situations, by the City.


There are a number of ways in which MassDOT, the MBTA/GLX team, and the City of Somerville will keep the community updated throughout the project. We encourage you to sign up for at least one of these methods of communication to stay as informed as possible.

1. MassDOT / GLX Update Emails
MassDOT and the GLX team maintain an email list, available to anyone wishing to opt in. Emails include upcoming schedules and work information. To sign up for these email updates, visit

2. City of Somerville Email Updates
The City of Somerville will maintain an email update list for interested constituents to notify you of important upcoming schedules and construction impacts on a regular basis. You can opt-out at any time. To sign up for City updates: Email and note that you are opting into GLX updates.

3.. Station-Area Representatives
The GLX Project team developed a Community Working Group to provide information sharing between the project team the public. The Working Group consists of representatives from each of the station areas in Medford, Somerville, and Cambridge. Working Group members provide assistance to the MBTA and to the community in identifying local issues of concern, facilitating dialogue, and planning agendas and topics for discussion at neighborhood and community meetings. We strongly encourage you to reach out the Working Group representative closest to your area of interest and sign up for their alerts and updates. These representatives work very closely with the project team and the City of Somerville and can provide you with valuable information for your specific neighborhood. The representatives for each area are listed below along with their contact information.

4. GLX Project Website
If you would like updated information but do not wish to receive active alerts and updates, you can always visit, where full project background materials are also linked.

5. Questions?

  • GLX 24/7 Hotline: The GLX team is happy to assist you, and this is the best first stop for any questions or concerns. Email them at Email, or call the project hotline, which is monitored 24/7: 1-855-GLX-INFO.
  • 311 Constituent Services: For basic city specific issues related to the GLX, contact our 24/7 Constituent Services Office at 3-1-1 (or 617-666-3311).
  • City of Somerville GLX Liaison: The City is in the process of hiring a project liaison to coordinate technical and logistical issues related to construction. For now, additional city staff assigned to the project are available to assist you via or 617-666-3311.