GLX construction activities and traffic updates

Jan. 11 to 24, 2019, construction outlook and upcoming plans. This schedule is subject to change based on weather or other factors.

Table of Contents

Drainage Installation & Wall Construction

TARGET START: Work underway

Purpose of Work? Foundational work on the east side of the alignment that improves and expands the drainage system infrastructure and serves as the start of major, permanent construction on the GLX Project.

Approach: Work is focused on the east side of the alignment and will take place behind separation barrier for worker protection.

Duration: Through the end of 2019

Impacts: This work is currently underway along Gilman St. (between Walnut St. and McGrath Hwy). Portions of an old metal sheeting wall are being removed and a foundation for a new noise wall will be installed. Drainage installation will begin between the track and new wall.

Further up the alignment, north of College Ave., work on a new wall has also begun.

Additionally, temporary drainage has been installed on the east side between Broadway and Cedar St. to support widening of the rail alignment and for access of construction equipment in this area.

As this work progresses crews will continue to remove trash from the east side of the alignment that was not reachable by mechanical means in spring/summer 2018.

Areas impacted in next two weeks: Metal wall sheeting removal continues with vibration monitoring setup along properties on Gilman St.

Expect to see drill rigs and other heavy equipment mobilized north of College Ave. and behind homes along Burget Ave. as the early stages of the wall construction begin.

Benefits:  Improved drainage and noise abatement for the area.

Pre-Construction Survey

  • Target Start: Phase I complete – Phase II underway
  • Duration: Surveys of each property take approximately one hour to complete. Work will continue through mid-2019.
  • Purpose of Work: Capture existing conditions of homes and businesses along the alignment to compare with final conditions should questions arise concerning adverse construction impacts.
  • Approach: Peer Consultants initially documented conditions from the ROW. In late April/early May, Phase I of the survey (on the east side of the MBTA right-of-way) went into effect and property owners were contacted requesting access to their properties in order to perform the survey work (inside & out). Survey work on the east side of the alignment is complete. Peer will now reach out to property owners on the west side of the alignment to set up appointments to conduct property surveys.
  • Impacts: Letters explaining the property survey will begin going out in the next few weeks to all Phase II properties on the west/south side of the ROW.
  • Areas impacted in next two weeks: Notifications requesting property survey appointments are currently out to all Phase II properties on the west/south side of the ROW from Tufts in Medford to Washington St. in Somerville and Surveys are under way in these areas.
  • Benefits: Homeowners will receive a report from the survey. This operation will provide documentation of existing conditions to property owners to ensure any project impacts are captured.

Pest Control

  • Target Start: Work underway
  • Duration: Abatement work began in April 2018 and will continue throughout the duration of project. A1 Pest Control is checking bait stations weekly to monitor pest activity. Baiting is intensified in areas reporting increased activity.
  • Purpose of Work: Reduce chances of pushing rodent issues from right-of-way (ROW) into rail neighbors’ properties.
  • Approach: A rodent habitat inspection on the ROW was completed and the Green Line Extension Constructors Pest Management Plan has been adjusted based on the findings. Nearly 500 hundred baiting stations have been placed along the ROW with baiting in hundreds of burrows.
  • Impacts: Our goal is to reduce the number of rodents, their habitats and conditions that support the rodent population. Subcontractor will closely monitor this work to minimize off-property impacts.
  • Areas impacted in next two weeks: Baiting continues throughout the alignment each week. Trash removal is once again progressing on the east side of the alignment along with hillside excavation. This work is helping eliminate conditions that promote rodent activity.
  • Technician Summary: (Dec. 30, 2018) – 120 units of WeatherBlok XT replaced in bait stations. Heavy bait consumption noted between Central and Lowell.
    (Dec. 20, 2018) – 150 units of WeatherBlok XT replaced in bait stations. Noted moderate mice feeding between McGrath Hwy. and Walnut. Performed additional burrow treatment in these areas.
  • Benefits: Construction team is working with the cities of Somerville, Medford, and Cambridge to maximize the effectiveness of their efforts with ours.

Soil Boring & Utility Investigation

  • Target Start: Work underway
  • Duration: Soil boring work and utility investigation work continues.
  • Purpose of Work: Determine soil and rock quality to support design efforts. Confirm drawings and utility locations match to avoid possible utility strikes and disruption of service during construction.
  • Approach: Multiple crews with boring and other earth moving equipment are methodically moving operations throughout the entire GLX construction corridor.
  • Impacts: Vary depending on location.
  • Areas impacted in next two weeks: Work continues throughout the alignment. Some temporary lane closures possible.
  • Benefits: Soil characterization plays an important part in design.

Demolition of Homan Building (near Medford & Pearl St.)

  • Target Start: Pre-Demolition work is complete. Building demolition – February 2019
  • Duration: Completion in early 2019
  • Purpose of Work: Make way for contractor material laydown area and site access.
  • Approach: Standard abatement and building demolition approach
  • Impacts: Temporary lane closures on Medford St.
  • Areas impacted in next two weeks: Abatement and hazardous material removal is complete. A few utility isolations need to be confirmed. The demolition contractor will mobilize after work is completed on the 3rd Ave. demolition which is beyond this two-week outlook.
  • Benefits: The site will provide an off-road construction staging and lay-down area for GLX and the future construction of a traction power substation. Post construction, the site will provide the City of Somerville with significant development opportunities.

Demolition at Third Avenue (near Inner Belt Rd.)

Target Start: Pre-demolition work is complete. Building demolition – January 2019

Purpose of Work: Make way for contractor material laydown area and future Vehicle Maintenance Facility.

Approach: Standard demolition approach.

Duration: Completion in early 2019

Impacts: Minimal  

Areas impacted in next two weeks: Abatement and hazardous material removal is complete. Utility isolation is underway. Once all utilities are isolated full demolition will begin. The goal is to mobilize the demolition contractor by the mid to late January.

Benefits: The site will the future vehicle maintenance facility.

Upcoming work - Demolition at Ball Square

Target Start: Pre-demolition work complete. Building demolition - early 2019

Purpose of Work? Make way for contractor material laydown area and future Ball Square Station

Approach: Standard demolition approach.

Duration: 3 - 4 weeks.

Impacts: Minimal.

Areas impacted in next two weeks: Hazardous material abatement work is complete. Occasional traffic impacts as trucks hauling soil exit the site with the assistance of a police detail.

Benefits: Removing these buildings will support Broadway Bridge demolition/construction and future Ball Square Station Construction.

Upcoming work - Broadway Bridge Closure

  • Target Start: March 2019
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Purpose of Work: A new, redesigned Broadway Bridge is needed to accommodate the additional light-rail lines that will pass underneath the bridge.
  • Approach: The design and construction of the existing bridge does not allow it to be taken down in stages and thus maintain vehicular and pedestrian traffic. A full closure will be needed and all demolition and construction will need to be synchronized with commuter rail operations.
  • Impacts: Significant Traffic congestion issues for motorists and pedestrians in the area and extensive night and weekend work will be required to take advantage of narrow time windows when commuter trains are not operating. While the project will seek to minimize construction impacts, noise and work lights emanating from the site are to be expected.
  • Areas impacted in next two weeks: None
  • Benefits: The work will advance this important phase of the project forward in an efficient manner.

Upcoming work - Washington Street Underpass Closure

Target Start: Repair Work Underway; Closure Spring 2019

Duration: The entire underpass will be closed for approximately 8 months beginning in spring 2019. The bridge will re-open for a period of approximately 4 months, then closed again for an approximate 5-month duration.

Purpose of the Work:  Replace and widen the railroad bridge as well as associated infrastructure along the roadway including drainage improvements.  A wider bridge is needed to make room for Green Line Extension track.  This replacement will be a total redesign and improve the overall functionality of this overpass. 

Approach:    Detours will be in place and heavy business and commuter outreach will lead up to the closures.

Impacts:  Significant.      

Areas impacted in next two weeks: Brief lane closures may take place from time to time on an intermittent basis to facilitate major construction in the spring of 2019.

Benefits:  A more functional overpass will result that is within a short distance of the East Somerville Green Line Station. 

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