SOMERVILLE, Mass. - Work on the $2.3 billion Green Line extension project is ramping up.
The project will extend the line north through Somerville and Medford and Boston 25 News got a behind-the-scenes look at the work being done.
First stop, project manager John Dalton brought us to the Somerville fly-over or viaduct, where the tracks will be elevated so Green Line cars can run over the Commuter Rail.
Designing and building the tracks is no easy job.
"We don't want to do anything that could jeopardize service so if a train goes by and we're close up to the train with construction work, we stop. Both for the safety of construction crews, but also for the safety of people in the train. During rush hour, depending on what line you're on, once every 15 minutes," said Dalton.
#onthejob with MBTA and #GLX crews working on the Green Line extension.— Crystal Haynes (@crystalhaynes) April 24, 2019
Stop 1 : the sight of the “fly over” where elevated tracks will go over existing Commuter Rail tracks. @boston25 pic.twitter.com/HADYqnltV0
Stop 2: Washington Street.
"Over my left shoulder here is where the future East Somerville station will be. This will be the first of five stations on the Medford branch of the Green Line," said Dalton.
The five-mile extension will have seven new stations, five on the Medford line, one in Union Square, and Lechmere station is being rebuilt and relocated.
"It all gets rebuilt and reconstructed to allow not only the commuter tracks, but also Green Line tracks, and also the future community path," said Dalton.
Stop 2: the Future East Somerville T-stop at Washington Street.— Crystal Haynes (@crystalhaynes) April 24, 2019
The bridge will be demolished and reconstructed to allow commuter rail, green line tracks and community path. @boston25 pic.twitter.com/ic8DUd9DBM
Stop 3: Walnut Street.
Dalton then took us to the bridge on Walnut Street in Somerville to show the massive pilings installed to create a noise barrier for residents.
"It's all about mitigating the noise impacts that will ultimately happen because these tracks we see here now, today, ultimately get shifted back closer to the homes we see behind the noise wall," he said.
It's just one major concern for people who live and work in the area.
Stop 3:— Crystal Haynes (@crystalhaynes) April 24, 2019
Noise barriers: WALNUT STREET SOMERVILLE
Because #GLX is moving track closer to homes then they were before, they’re required to build sound barriers to mitigate the impact. @boston25 pic.twitter.com/ZxkitKjW8K
Stop 4: Ball Square station
Last stop was Ball Square and the site of the future Ball Square stop, power station, and where the Broadway Bridge is being rebuilt.
The project is great for riders, but maybe not so great for the neighborhoods the new lines will go through. Although the MBTA is working to make sure neighbors are not disturbed, some residents and restaurant owners have been vocal about the negative impact the construction has had on the neighborhood, business, and delays in the work.
"The ultimate benefit will far outweigh the current inconveniences," said Dalton.
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