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MBTA Silver Line Chelsea RouteThe MassDOT Board of Directors today approved a construction contract to extend the MBTA’s increasingly popular Silver Line from East Boston to Chelsea. A project funded entirely by Governor Deval Patrick’s 2013 Transportation Finance Plan, the Silver Line will be extended past the Seaport to provide a new connection to the Blue Line at Airport Station. From there, the Silver Line Gateway buses will travel to Chelsea where they will operate in a new dedicated bus-way built in the former Grand Junction railroad right-of-way.

The Board today voted to award the Silver Line Gateway contract to McCourt Construction Company, Inc. for $33,752,196.

In the first stage of a multi-phased project, a 1.3-mile long dedicated Bus Rapid Transit lane will be built from just west of the Mystic Mall to Eastern Avenue. The bus-way will be comprised of two 12-foot travel lanes and two 3-foot shoulders. Under the newly approved contract, there will be three new stations built along the bus-way at Eastern Avenue, Box District, and Mystic Mall. The Silver Line stations will have inbound and outbound platforms, and include canopies, shelters, bicycle racks, lighting, signage, fare collection equipment, variable message signs, and closed circuit television cameras.

“This project was the result of an extensive public process involving residents, businesses, community organizations and elected officials in Chelsea and Boston,” said MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott. “Silver Line Gateway will close the transit gap between residents in Chelsea and East Boston and the growing employment opportunities in the Seaport District.”

The project also includes the replacement of the Washington Avenue Bridge over the existing Commuter Rail Tracks and the new Silver Line Bus-way. The new bridge will accommodate two travel lanes, a parking lane on the west side, and sidewalks on both sides. Additionally, the project will include a Shared Use Path to run parallel to the bus-way from Eastern Avenue Station to downtown Chelsea.

Upon completion of the project’s first phase, the MBTA will solicit bids for the construction of a new Chelsea Commuter Rail Station at the Mystic Mall area. Both the Commuter Rail station and the new Mystic Mall Silver Line Station will be easily accessed with an at-grade sidewalk crossing at Everett Avenue, allowing for easy transfers in either direction. In addition, a fourth Silver Line station will be constructed after new Commuter Rail station is built. The Silver Line’s Downtown Chelsea Station will be located between Arlington Street and Washington Avenue.

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