The project schedule for Boston’s Green Line Extension is facing an extension of its own.
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) officials announced on June 21 that a portion of the 4.7-mile project pulling the Green Line out to Somerville and Medford would not be open until December. The Extension’s one stop to Union Square in Somerville was originally slated to start service in October of this year. The entire line will not be running until Spring 2022, a full five months late.
COVID-19 is to blame for the delayed start, as supply chain issues became an issue as early as last spring. GLX Constructors, the prime contractor, has been working day and night dealing with deliveries on items that have been backlogged for months.
MBTA came to an agreement with GLX Constructors to reduce the agency’s risk of facing COVID-19-related lawsuits and to firm up the schedule. MBTA will pay up to $80 million from the project’s built-in contingency funding budget to safeguard itself from legal conflicts, pay for additional work, and to execute contractor staffing requirements for the remaining life of the project.
The Green Line Extension project currently sits at 80% complete, with 65% of the track work done.
Cambridge and Somerville also will have money returned to them. Both cities helped launch construction when they supplied $75 million in funding. With the project currently $300 million underfunded, Cambridge and Somerville should get all of those funds returned.