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Inner Belt chosen for Green Line maintenance facility

Posted by Marcia Dick  May 17, 2010 12:42 PM

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After months of debate, city and state officials have agreed on a final location for a storage and maintenance facility needed for the Green Line Extension project.

The site, known as “Option L,” is located in the InnerBelt area of Somerville immediately adjacent to the MBTA's Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility at the Boston Engine Terminal. An 11-acre facility will be built on the L-shaped property as part of the $932.4 million Green Line Extension to Somerville and Medford, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced on Monday.

“The Green Line Extension is one of our highest-profile projects,” Mass DOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan said in a press release. “The City of Somerville, its municipal officials and local residents, are our partners in the planning process. The selection of Option L is an example of that partnership."

The state initially proposed locating the facility in an area known as Yard 8, prompting outrage from city officials and residents concerned with the site's proximity to the Brickbottom artist studios. Last year, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone joined local artists in arguing against the Yard 8 location, pushing instead for the facility to be built on a site known as Mirror H, which straddles the InnerBelt area of Somerville and the North Point area of Cambridge.

On Monday, Curtatone expressed support for the Option L location and said he was pleased to see a decision made to keep the project on track. Current projections call for three new Green Line stations to open in Somerville in 2014 with a fourth stop on Route 16 to be completed by 2016.

“This will help preserve the quality of life for nearby residents, notably those in the Brickbottom artist lofts,” Curtatone said in a release. “Today we're significantly closer to achieving the better, brighter, more connected future we envision for this city.”

The location will also allow for the future redevelopment of the city's industrial InnerBelt area and create long-term transportation connections with the Brickbottom neighborhood, where a Green Line station is planned, Curtatone said.
 
For more information about the Green Line Extension project, including information about upcoming public meetings, click here.

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