TRANSIT: Scaled-down plan for MBTA Green Line extension will move forward

May 10, 2016

The new plan includes a much smaller vehicle maintenance facility, fewer design changes to bridges and a shorter community path

The state transportation board and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) fiscal control board voted Monday to tentatively move forward with a scaled-down proposal for the long-delayed Green Line extension (GLX), which would relocate Lechmere Station and bring six new T stations to Somerville and Medford.

The new plan, which is estimated to cost $2.3 billion, will go to the Federal Transit Administration, which also must approve the modified proposal.

The project was halted last year after its estimated cost ballooned from $2 billion to about $3 billion. In December, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack had said the entire extension could be scrapped.

The new plan brings that estimated cost closer to the original proposal.

Even with the changes, the project has an estimated $73 million funding gap. That’s also after the cities of Somerville and Cambridge announced last week they’re pledging a combined $75 million toward the project.

Over the weekend, Somerville May Joe Curtatone, one of the project’s most vocal supporters, told WBUR in an interview that plans for the extension should move forward, as $800 million has already been spent preparing for the project.

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