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Wednesday, December 12, 2012    

Massachusetts Gov. Patrick kicks off first phase of Green Line extension project

Yesterday, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick marked the start of construction on the first phase of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) Green Line extension into the cities of Medford and Somerville.

The $12.9 million project calls for reconstructing two railroad bridges in Medford and Somerville to accommodate the Green Line track. In addition, a building in Cambridge will be demolished to clear the path so tracks can be extended from Lechmere Station, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) officials said in a prepared statement.

"For the residents of Somerville and Medford, the Green Line extension  means expanded employment opportunity, housing opportunity and recreational opportunity," Patrick said. "This project is about more than transportation. It's about growth."

On June 11, the Federal Transit Administration notified MassDOT that its New Starts Program application to enter the preliminary engineering phase was approved. The approval put the Green Line project in line for funding to finance abut half the project's total $1.12 billion cost.

Phase I includes reconstructing the Harvard Street Bridge in Medford and the Medford Street Bridge in Somerville. Work on the Harvard Street Bridge will begin later this month; work on the Medford Bridge will begin in spring. Demolition of the building in Cambridge is slated for later in 2013.

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