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Swelling Costs Could Stunt Epic Green Line Extension

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It's hard to name a more potentially transformative project in all of Greater Boston than the long-awaited extension of the Green Line through Somerville into Medford. Real estate price (and presumably values) have already jumped along and near the proposed route as developers, brokers, sellers and landlords anticipate the added cachet the trundling trolley is sure to bring. Public officials have tripped over themselves to assure us of the extension's power for good (easier commutes, busier foot traffic for local businesses) and the officials' efforts to mitigate the evil it might loose (gentrification, gentrification, gentrification). Very much anticipated, this Green Line extension is. Now comes word that the early stages of it are over-budget.

Andrew Metzger lays the situation out at WBUR: "The cost set by the Green Line Extension contractor for the first three stations is more than double the amount state and federal transit officials recently estimated, calling into question the full price tag of the new trolley line and whether the state can afford to build it." Right now it appears that the cost of building seven new trolley stations, including one in East Cambridge, is running about $1 billion in the red. One way around that may be more modest stations (this is the Green Line after all). Or ... though no one wants to really say this out loud yet ... curtailing the length of the extension. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, below is a YouTube that MassDOT posted in March, showing a virtual run of the extension beginning at the Lechmere station.

· Ballooning Cost Throws Future Of Green Line Extension Into Question [WBUR]
· Six Greater Boston Spots Transforming Before Our Eyes [Curbed Boston]
· Somerville Is Doomed to Be a More Desirable Place to Live [Curbed Boston]
· Mayor Joe Curtatone on Keeping Somerville Quirky, Affordable [Curbed Boston]