Green Line Extension: A catalyst for sustainable mixed-use development

BLDUP | By Matthew M. Robare

After decades of delays and over a billion dollars worth of cost overruns, the Green Line Extension has $2.3 billion of necessary funding intact and can proceed with construction. Originally mandated as mitigation for increased emissions from the Big Dig, the Green Line Extension will provide Somerville and Medford with an important alternative to commuting by car, resulting in cleaner skies and enabling the development of sustainable, mixed-use developments. The Trump administration has shortlisted the Green Line Extension as an infrastructure project to prioritize, further emphasizing the Extension’s transformative potential. The Green Line Extension is currently expected to open in 2021.

The first expansion of the rapid transit system since the Alewife extension of the Red Line opened in 1985, the Green Line Extension is planned in two branches from Lechmere Station in East Cambridge. One branch will follow the Fitchburg Line commuter rail tracks to Union Square in Somerville, while the other will follow the Lowell Line commuter rail tracks to Medford. In addition to Union Square’s stop at Prospect Street, stations are planned for East Somerville, Gilman Square, Magoun Square, Ball Square and Tufts University. A new Lechmere Station will also be built as part of the project. The Green Line Extension could one day extend further northward to Route 16/Mystic Valley Parkway.

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