MBTA Green Line Extension project reopening 2 major bridges in Somerville

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
MBTA
MBTA construction crews closing part of Monsignor O’Brien Highway in East Cambridge this weekend for Green Line Extension project.
MBTA

[Last week] the MBTA announced that the Green Line Extension (GLX) project will permanently reopen the Washington Street Bridge / Underpass near McGrath Highway in East Somerville on [this past Sunday]. Following this major project milestone, the Broadway Bridge in Ball Square is scheduled to reopen the during the first week in June. Both bridges were closed in spring 2019 and completely reconstructed to advance the completion of the GLX project, a key element of the MBTA’s $8 billion Building a Better T program

At Washington Street, the roadway underpass will immediately reopen to its full capacity consisting of 1 travel lane in each direction. A temporary pedestrian sidewalk will be open on 1 side of the roadway until final surface restoration is complete. Work will continue overhead on the elevated track level during this phase. Permanent pavement, finished sidewalks on both sides, lighting, and street markings will be completed this summer.

The Broadway Bridge will initially re-open with 1 travel lane in each direction. During this early stage, temporary accessible sidewalks and bicycle lanes will be installed on 1 side of the bridge allowing pedestrian and bicycle travel in both directions at all times. Final surface restorations are expected to be completed this summer. At that time, the bridge will include permanent pavement markings with 2 travel lanes in each direction in addition to finished sidewalks and bicycle lanes on each side of the bridge. When the future Ball Square Station (now under construction) is complete, the bridge will feature a fully accessible entrance to the station platform from the bridge sidewalk via an elevator and staircase. A second at-grade entrance will also be constructed from Boston Avenue.

Work on the Medford Street Bridge in Gilman Square is progressing with completion scheduled for fall 2020. The new design for this bridge calls for an additional span to be added at the south abutment in order to accommodate new Green Line tracks below.

School Street Bridge in Somerville’s Gilman Square will remain closed until spring 2021. This long-planned closure will facilitate the widening of the rail corridor beneath the bridge to accommodate GLX tracks and the construction of a future Gilman Square Station entrance to be located along the bridge span. 

Pedestrian access across the School Street Bridge will be maintained throughout the duration of construction via the temporary pedestrian bridge currently in place or the sidewalk.

The MBTA appreciates the patience and understanding of motorists and others affected by these bridge closures as the GLX Project Team continues to make strides in delivering GLX to the region on schedule. The MBTA also thanks its city partners, municipal leaders, and stakeholder groups for their continued collaboration and support of GLX.

An MBTA news release.

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Categories: Bridge/Retaining Walls/Tunnels, Commuter/Regional, Passenger, Railroad News, Track Structure
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