MassDOT today announced that a land exchange agreement has been approved to facilitate extending the Green Line north of Lechmere Station to Somerville and Medford, while also advancing the NorthPoint mixed-use development project. The agreement between the MBTA and Pan Am Railways approved by the MassDOT Board of Directors allows for construction of a new Lechmere Station on the east side of O’Brien Highway in East Cambridge across from the current station location. The project will lead to new jobs and economic development for the area.
The MBTA is also obtaining crucial track and property rights necessary for MassDOT and the MBTA to build and operate the Green Line Extension, among other projects. In exchange for granting those rights to the MBTA, Pan Am is acquiring the property on which the existing Lechmere Station is located.
Pan Am and development partners The HYM Investment Group are moving forward with the adjacent NorthPoint project, a mixed-use development of 2,800 residential units, more than two million square feet of office space, and 185,000 square feet of retail. HYM and Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds joined with Atlas Capital Group last year to develop the 44-acre property, the largest remaining parcel of open land in Cambridge. The former Pan Am rail yard is located across the Charles River from Massachusetts General Hospital and within walking distance of Kendall Square.
Among the key elements of the newly-approved agreement, the MBTA and MassDOT will receive:
• All of the trackage and property rights necessary to build and operate the Green Line Extension, which have a combined value of $12.5 million. In addition to this real value, these rights provide a $5.5 million savings for MassDOT and the MBTA, which had expected to pay $18 million for these rights.
• Trackage rights off the Worcester Main Line to allow potential future passenger service from Worcester to Ayer. This will provide a connection between the Worcester and Fitchburg Commuter Rail Lines, and a potential future connection to North Station.
• Trackage rights to provide future passenger service to New Hampshire. This would allow for the extension of MBTA Commuter Rail service from Lowell to Concord, NH through Nashua and Manchester. That project would ultimately be sponsored and funded by the State of New Hampshire, similar to current Commuter Rail service to Rhode Island.
• While not part of the Land Exchange Agreement, Pan Am has agreed to assume costs associated with the required street and sidewalk improvements in the Lechmere area. The Green Line Extension project and the Commonwealth were planning to absorb this $9 million expense, which may now be deducted from the project’s total cost.
The trackage rights have a combined value of $30.7 million. As consideration for receiving these rights from Pan Am, MassDOT and the MBTA will convey the site of the existing Lechmere Station to Pan Am, following the completion of the new Lechmere Station.
For more information visit the Green Line Extension website.
Secretary Pollack Welcomes July COMTO National Meeting to Boston posted on May 27
MassDOT Secretary & CEO Stephanie Pollack is pleased to welcome the Conference Of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) 44th National Meeting & Training Conference to Boston, July 11–14, 2015. Secretary Pollack joins Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh as Honorary Chairs of the Conference. In addition to …Continue Reading Secretary Pollack Welcomes July COMTO National Meeting to Boston
Fall River Route 79 Project: Ramp Closures May 28 posted on May 26
MassDOT will close the on-ramps to I-195 east and westbound from Route 79/138 and Broadway northbound, and from Central Street at Durfee Street/Milliken Boulevard on Thursday, May 28. The closures are necessary to demolish and reconstruct the last two elevated bridges as part of the …Continue Reading Fall River Route 79 Project: Ramp Closures May 28
MassDOT, Mapfre Insurance Encourage Safe Summer Driving posted on May 24
In time for Memorial Day, the kick-off to the summer driving season, MassDOT Acting Highway Administrator Thomas Tinlin joined MAPFRE Insurance in reminding motorists to adhere to speed limits, obey traffic laws and avoid distracted driving when traveling during the summer months. According to data …Continue Reading MassDOT, Mapfre Insurance Encourage Safe Summer Driving