The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has announced that the Green Line Extension, which was trending towards completion in October of 2015, is now expected to be delayed until 2018 at the earliest, and possibly until as late as 2020. In its annual State Implementation Plan (SIP) Status Report, MassDOT has declared that it will formally petition the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the Green Line Extension’s implementation, for a delay.
This comes as very disappointing news. The Green Line Extension is both a federally mandated component of Massachusetts’ State Implementation Plan for compliance with the Clean Air Act, and required mitigation for the effects of the Big Dig project. In order to bring the Massachusetts within compliance of the Clean Air Act, the Green Line Extension must be completed before December 31, 2014, or else the state will risk losing federal funding for any other transportation projects. Beyond being required by law, extending the MBTA Green Line through Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford is a key component of bringing long-overdue environmental justice to cities and its citizens.
MassDOT and the MBTA must now compile a list of reduction offset measures that will be implemented in order to mitigate the project’s delay. These measures will be established through a process that includes public input, and it is my hope that they will bring a meaningful level of environmental justice to the communities that the Green Line Extension will serve while the project is delayed.
In response to these developments, I will be meeting with members of the Green Line legislative delegation, Mayor Curtatone, and officials from MassDOT and the Patrick administration with the goal of finding more information about precisely why the delay is necessary, and to discuss how this delay will impact various phases of the project, such as the relocation of Lechmere Station.
I will be sure to provide an update about what the next steps are as soon as possible. As always, I welcome your input in the comments section below.