Green Line Extension Inching Closer to Reality

MBTA officials are optimistic the feds will open their wallets.

The long-delayed, $2.3 billion Green Line Extension is inching closer to reality, MBTA officials told the transportation authority’s oversight board Thursday.

Not only are federal transit officials—who have been asked to contribute $1 billion—satisfied with the project’s redesign, but the T also has a written commitment from the City of Cambridge to cover $25 million ($5 million over five years starting in 2018), with a similar agreement with Somerville for $50 million to be hammered out next month, Commonwealth reports.

The 4.3 mile project, which would extend the Green Line from Lechmere into underserved Somerville and Medford, was in jeopardy when cost estimates bloated from $2 billion to $3 billion. The T stopped work and redesigned the GLX to lower costs, but can’t do much more without the Federal Transit Administration green-lighting $1 billion in funding, contingent on a risk analysis to be performed later this year.

Under its agreement with the T, Cambridge will get all of its money back if Lechmere Station, the Green Line’s current northern terminus, is not relocated within the next 10 years.