Construction of the MBTA's 4.3-mile Green Light Rail extension is expected to begin later this year, with revenue service beginning in 2021. Image: GLXC

Construction of the MBTA's 4.3-mile Green Light Rail extension is expected to begin later this year, with revenue service beginning in 2021. Image: GLXC

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will issue $250 million in grant funding to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) for its Green Line Extension (GLX) light rail project.

The grant represents the second installment of Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program funding for the GLX after the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) signed a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with MBTA for the 4.7-mile light rail line from Cambridge to Medford.

In December 2017, the MBTA received $100 million in funding for the project.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao and Acting FTA Administrator Jane K. Williams, Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker and Rep. Mike Capuono joined MBTA and MassDOT officials for the announcement.

“The Green Line Extension project will improve mobility and increase access to jobs, schools and medical care for tens of thousands of passengers in the Boston area,” FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams said. “The leadership at the state and MBTA should be commended for making the necessary decisions to ensure this project opens on time and within budget.”

The MBTA GLX project is a 4.7-mile light rail line that will extend existing Green Line service from a relocated Lechmere Station in East Cambridge to College Avenue in Medford and along a spur to Union Square in Somerville, Mass. It will serve some of the region’s most densely populated communities that currently lack access to rail transit. The forecasted ridership on the project is 37,900 daily trips.

The 75,000 residents who live within one-half mile of the stations will connect to 342,000 jobs in Boston and along the corridor.

Geotechnical boring work continues in the future Lechmere Station area for the MBTA's future Green Line light rail extension. Photo: MassDOT

Geotechnical boring work continues in the future Lechmere Station area for the MBTA's future Green Line light rail extension. Photo: MassDOT

Gov. Baker and the Massachusetts Legislature, have taken appropriate steps to address potential cost overruns and deliver the project within the scope of the grant agreement. To that end, the MBTA cancelled a major construction contract that would have resulted in a 30-50% cost increase and revised the project while maintaining the original scope.

The project currently adheres to the scope and benefits identified in the FFGA, including seven new light rail stations, replacement or rehabilitation of eight bridges, a new maintenance and storage facility, and a new pedestrian/bike path.

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