Here’s a quick overview of transportation projects, some planned, some potential, all useful! Read the summaries below the map, and click the map to enlarge.
Green Line Extension. The GLX project for six new stations and the relocated Lechmere station finally opened last December 12th! The next phase of GLX (unscheduled) would extend the route from the current GLX terminus at Medford/Tufts station to a new terminus at Route 16 at the Somerville/ Medford line. Without a schedule for building the GLX terminus at Route 16, its future depends on advocacy in the communities that will benefit from it the most: West Somerville, Medford, and East Arlington. Many riders would like to see the Union Square GLX branch extended to Porter Square as a future project.
Community Path. The 2-mile Community Path extension, which runs along the Medford branch GLX corridor, finally opened on June 10th! Starting at Lowell St, it connects four GLX stations: Magoun Square, Gilman Square, East Somerville, and Lechmere. The Path extension also connects the Minuteman and Charles River path networks, con- necting ~48 miles of path through 11 Boston area cities and towns, and adding the eastern six miles of the 104-mile Mass Central Rail Trail.
Note: This new extension is much narrower than the rest of the Community Path (in spite of our advo- cacy for a wider path), so please slow down and be mindful of other path users!
Mystic River Ped/Bike Bridge. The project to build a pedestrian/bike bridge across the Mystic River, led by DCR in partnership with MassDOT, will connect Somerville and Charlestown at Draw Seven Park with Everett at the site of the Encore casino. The $38 million bridge, currently in at least the 75% design phase, will also connect the casino area directly to the Assembly Orange Line station. This bridge will form a critical link between the Northern Strand Trail, the Mystic River Greenway, and Boston. Design and permitting are expected to be completed in late 2023-early 2024. Funding to build the bridge is committed in DCR’s budget.
Following a bidding process that will start later this year, the project is expected to break ground in 2024 and wrap up construction in 2026. We eagerly await word of a DCR public meeting to unveil the near-finished design.
Inner Belt Mystic-to-Charles Path. The proposed Mystic to Charles multi-use path would link the Assembly and Sullivan Orange Line stations, the Inner Belt neighborhood, and Community Path Extension at the new East Somerville GLX station. In addition to providing off-street transit connections, the Mystic to Charles Path would provide off-street connections to the Mystic and Charles Rivers path networks. As of now, a few planned developments in the area are incorporating portions of this path in their conceptual designs.
Silver Line Extension (SLX). The MBTA SLX project would extend Silver Line bus rapid transit service to and from Everett and Chelsea, and poten- tially include Somerville. Three of the six route alter- natives being analyzed are of a new proposed SLX line between Everett, Sullivan Sq., and either Kendall Sq. or downtown Boston. One route alternative being analyzed would connect Sullivan and Kendall Squares through Somerville via the future McGrath Boulevard.
McGrath Boulevard. For several years Somervillians have been looking forward to the removal of the crumbling McCarthy Overpass on Route 28 (McGrath Highway over Washington St.) and for the transformation of McGrath to a street- level, tree-lined multi-modal boulevard. The goal is to reconnect Union Sq. with East Somerville and Inner Belt, and make the route safer and more accessible for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.
The current boulevard concept provides pedestrian, bike, and bus features. MassDOT has advanced the project to the 25% design phase and public engage- ment is expected to occur later this year or in early 2024. Federal funding for the project is programmed in the Boston MPO’s 2023-2027 Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). Construction is expected to get underway in 2027. Other sections of McGrath have recently been subject to a road diet with sub- stantial pedestrian and bike safety improvements.