Feds announce $996M grant for project extending MBTA's Green Line to Somerville, Medford

Associated Press

A $996 million federal grant will help build the planned extension of the Green Line MBTA line to Somerville and Medford, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced Monday.

Foxx announced the grant at a news conference at Somerville High School with Gov. Deval Patrick, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano.

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The 4.7-mile project calls for the construction of six new stations, the relocation of one existing station, the purchase of 24 new light rail vehicles, and the construction of a new bicycle and pedestrian path in Somerville.

The project is estimated to create 140 design jobs, 700 construction jobs during peak construction years and 140 ongoing maintenance and operation jobs.

State money will cover the remainder of the $2.3 billion project.

"This project will put time back in the lives of commuters along this corridor," Foxx said in a statement.

Patrick said the project will give residents of Somerville, Cambridge and Medford "more options for how they get to work, school and play" while providing opportunities for "sustainable, smart growth."

Some residents worry the Green Line extension could mirror the extension of the Red Line from Harvard Square to Alewife Station in the 1980s, which drove up housing and rental costs along the route in Cambridge and Somerville.

A report released earlier this year by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council concluded in part that increases in residential rents near new transit stations pose the greatest risk of displacement of those living in the area.

State transportation officials and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said they are committed to listening to concerns from the public as they move ahead with the project.