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MassDOT approves another $26m for Green Line Extension

Posted by Jarret Bencks  July 19, 2013 09:21 AM

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An additional $26 million has been added by MassDOT's board of directors to funding for initial work on the Green Line Extension, according to the MBTA.

The board approved the funding, which will be used for work on preliminary construction management design, surveying, and noise and vibration studies, MBTA spokesman Joseph Pesaturo said in an e-mail Friday.

In February 2011, the board approved $21.8 million in funding for the same work for 60 months, knowing an additional request would be coming in the future. It is estimated to cost $1.3 billion in total, and the state has submitted an application for a federal New Starts grant, which could cover about half the cost.

Phase 1 of the project, which includes demolition work and reconstruction of existing bridges in Somerville and Medford, broke ground last December and is expected to be completed by 2020. It calls for the transit line to be extended along a commuter rail bed through Somerville to Medford, creating six stops along the way and a new Lechmere Station in Cambridge.

The new funding will cover an 18-month stretch from August to February 2015. The work it covers is in line with the original funding from 2011, Pesaturo said.

"The scope of work is a continuation of work and not out of work scope from the original proposal," he said.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone attended Wednesday's MassDOT board meeting to urge the approval of the funding.

"I am thrilled that MassDOT's Board of Directors has approved this funding to ensure the Green Line Extension stays on course and on time," Curtatone said in a statment. "...Among the important design and study work funded by this $26 million is the critical work of public participation. Continuous feedback from the community has been essential.

Other elements covered in the funding include: stormwater strategies, historical review, public participation, 3D modeling, field engineering, and inspectional services.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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