The following is an open letter released today by Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone:
OCTOBER 1, 2013
The Green Line Extension took a monumental step forward last Wednesday when the MassDOT Board of Directors voted to approve a $393 million contract to fund the construction of the first three stations. Yes, you read that right: Phase II of the Green Line Extension is now on schedule for an early 2017 opening of the Lechmere, Union Square and Washington St. stations.
To celebrate this truly momentous news, I’d like to thank everyone who made this possible. Foremost, I want to thank Gov. Deval Patrick and MassDOT Sec. Richard Davey for remaining committed to the Green Line Extension. Such a massive project needs local, state and federal government on the same page, and both Gov. Patrick and Sec. Davey have been resolute in their commitment. They know that making smart, long-term infrastructure investments and building a 21st century transportation system is critical to the Commonwealth having a 21st century economy. I look forward to hosting Gov. Patrick and Sec. Davey in Somerville soon not only to mark this milestone but to celebrate it.
Thanks are also due to the MassDOT Board of Directors for their bold vote, MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott for advocating for strategic investments in expansion and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization for their continued support. Our Beacon Hill delegation of Sen. Pat Jehlen, Rep. Denise Provost, Rep. Carl Sciortino and Rep. Tim Toomey has showed tremendous resolve with their support at the state level, while the Somerville Equity Transportation Partnership and Friends of the Community Path have provided the grassroots support that helped fuel this monumental step forward.
We must also thank the Board of Aldermen for supporting the Union Square urban renewal plan that makes the new T station feasible, and all Somervillians for their dogged advocacy as well (We just don’t give up, do we?).
Our 20-year comprehensive SomerVision plan sets goals of creating 30,000 new jobs and 6,000 new housing units in the city, all while creating the walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented neighborhoods that reduce our reliance our cars and benefit our local economy. Completing the Green Line Extension is a significant factor in reaching those goals. In Somerville, we have always invested today with an eye on tomorrow, and investing in the Green Line Extension today means billions of dollars pumping through the entire Massachusetts economy in the years to come.
This funding has been a long time coming. Thanks to Gov. Patrick, Sec. Davey and all of our partners at the state level that we’ve worked with through the years, it’s happening now. But we’re not done. With all parties continuing to work together, we are seeking to secure federal funding to complete the project, and with this $393 million as matching funds, our case for receiving New Starts funding is all the stronger. Route 16, here we come.
Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone