Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Agreement reach on site needed for MBTA Green Line extension facility

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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), Congressman Michael Capuano and Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone said there is now an agreement on a new preferred site for a maintenance and storage facility needed for the Green Line extension to Somerville and Medford.

Supported by the City of Somerville and elected officials throughout the Green Line Extension corridor, the new site is located in the Inner Belt area of Somerville and is known as 'Option L,' due to its L-shaped configuration. The new location eliminates many of the negative neighborhood impacts associated with the original site proposed by MassDOT, and presents the best opportunities to further long-term planning and development objectives in the area.

The selection of the Option L site is the culmination of a community planning process that engaged community advocates, local residents, business people and elected officials at all levels with MassDOT planners and engineers. MassDOT has received valuable input throughout the planning process and will continue to work with interested individuals and organizations, including municipal officials and staff, on specific design elements of the facility.

"I'd like to thank all those involved in this decision," said Congressman Mike Capuano. "Everyone showed the necessary flexibility and willingness to compromise when it came to locating the maintenance facility. As a result, we continue moving forward on the greater issue - making the Green Line Extension a reality."

"The Green Line Extension is one of our highest-profile projects, and one that offers enormous potential transportation benefits for the communities northwest of Boston," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan. "The City of Somerville, its municipal officials and local residents, are our partners in the planning process, and their participation has been and will continue to be invaluable as we move forward. The selection of Option L is an example of that partnership."

The Option L site makes possible the future redevelopment of the areas closest to the Green Line Extension corridor, and the creation of long-term transportation connections between the Inner Belt and Brickbottom neighborhoods.

"This is a momentous decision for the City of Somerville," said Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. "Not only does the decision about where to locate the Green Line maintenance facility ensure that the Green Line expansion into Somerville remains on its 2014 timeline, the chosen location creates the opportunity for significant redevelopment inside the city's industrial Inner Belt. Best of all, this will help preserve the quality of life for nearby residents, notably those in the Brickbottom artist lofts. Today we're significantly closer to achieving the better, brighter, more connected future we envision for this city."

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