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Green Line Map 2 The Green Line Extension project has taken the next step forward with submission of a draft environmental impact report and a public hearing scheduled for November in Somerville.

The Executive Office of Transportation submitted a Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment for the Green Line Extension project to the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs. 

The report provides an overview of projected environmental impacts and benefits; the recommended route and station locations; and vehicle maintenance and storage options for the Green Line Extension project.

A 45-day public review period begins October 26.  

Comments must be submitted in writing to be formally considered by the Secretary of Environmental Affairs within the 45-day review period.  The public hearing will be held:

November 18, 2009
Somerville High School -Auditorium
81 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143
6:00 PM

The Green Line Extension project will fulfill a longstanding commitment by the Commonwealth to increase public transit through long under-served neighborhoods in Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford, furthering the efforts of the Patrick-Murray Administration to improve local and regional mobility and encourage sustainable economic growth.   Visit the Green Line Extension website.  More information after the jump. 

“The Green Line Extension will offer major transportation and air quality benefits to Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford, and will trigger smart growth opportunities in neighborhoods along the route,” said Transportation Secretary James A. Aloisi, Jr.  “This submittal represents a crucial milestone in the project, advancing not only the environmental review process and design, but also our efforts to secure federal funding for the project.  We take seriously our commitment and look forward to continuing to work closely with neighboring communities to finalize the design and begin construction.”

The neighborhoods to be served by the Green Line Extension are among the densest in the Boston area and are currently surrounded, but not served by, rail transit. By 2030, the completed Green Line Extension project is expected to generate ridership at the proposed Green Line Extension stations of 52,000 daily boardings and alightings; systemwide, the Green Line will see an increase of 30,700 boardings daily. 

The Commonwealth is recommending that Green Line service be extended to Mystic Valley Parkway/Route 16 and Union Square using existing MBTA commuter rail rights-of-way.  However, because of current funding constraints, EOT is recommending that the project be constructed in two phases, with the first phase being constructed to comply with a legally-required December 31, 2014 timeline. The first phase of the project will construct the main line extension to Medford Hillside/College Avenue, with a branch to Union Square at a year-of-expenditure cost of approximately $932 million.  The second phase of the project will then extend the main line to Mystic Valley Parkway/Route 16 at a later date, when funding becomes available.

The DEIR/EA is the product of a three-year planning and environmental review process. This planning process entailed thorough technical analysis and comprehensive public involvement, with participation by corridor municipalities, a project advisory group, neighborhood organizations, business and advocacy interests, members of the general public, and other stakeholders. 

Complete reference copies of the DEIR/EA will be available at public libraries and at the offices of the city clerks of Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford.  The DEIR/EA may also be viewed on the project website www.mass.gov/greenlineextension.  An Executive Summary of the document is also available on the website along with a project fact sheet.

A public hearing will be held:

November 18, 2009
Somerville High School -Auditorium
81 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143
6:00 PM

Written comments must be submitted in writing to be formally considered by the Secretary of Environmental Affairs within the 45-day review period.  Letters should be sent to: 

Secretary Ian Bowles
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
MEPA Office, Attn: Holly Johnson, MEPA Analyst
EEA number #13886
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114
Fax: 617-626-1181
Email: Holly.S.Johnson@state.ma.us

Copies of these comments may also be sent to Kate Fichter, MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning, 10 Park Plaza, Room 4150, Boston, MA 02116. A 45-day comment period has been established.  Comments must be received by December 9, 2009. 

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