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Green Line extension groundbreaking signals monumental project on its way

There have been false starts before, but 4.7-mile run seems much likelier now

Lewis Liu/Shutterstock

Officials including U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Gov. Charlie Baker, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, and U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano were on hand for the official groundbreaking on June 25 for the Green Line extension through Somerville into Medford.

Work on the 4.7-mile route has been underway for a while, of course, but the June 25 event seemed to drive home the point that this particular groundbreaking was the real deal.

Capuano, for one, had been to at least three such groundbreakings before, including as Somerville mayor. “This one’s real,” he said at the latest.

What’s changed? The necessary funds are in place—the route will cost around $2.3 billion total—and so is the general contractor for the construction work. Also, the aforementioned earlier work has rendered stopping now kind of moot.

Plus, a lot of development along and near the extension is hinging on its completion.

The finished product will include seven fresh stations, including a relocated Lechmere one. Work is expected to wrap in late 2021.