GLX construction activities and traffic updates

March 17 - April 2, 2019, construction outlook and upcoming plans. This schedule is subject to change based on weather or other factors.

Table of Contents

24/7 Operation Planned for Weekends in March

Behind Monsignor O'Brien Highway Residences and Businesses

Daytime Operations – to Continue Weekdays in March
Adjacent to Brickbottom Artists Association Building along the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line. This portion of the drilled-shaft work is expected to be completed by end of March. Utility relocation work in this area will commence this spring. Crews will return summer of 2019 to complete drilled shafts for sound wall installation.

Type of Work:Crews will be drilling foundations for the new viaduct that crosses over the tracks leading into the Boston Engine Terminal. Tracks will be shut down over these weekends to facilitate construction.

What to Expect:Continuous drilling and hauling operations as spoils from the drilling are taken to the laydown yard between Water Street and East Street.

Expect some vibration and noise from drilling and hauling operations. A police detail will be positioned on Water St. to facilitate safe pedestrian and truck travel.

Drilled-Shaft OperationOn the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line between Monsignor O'Brien Highway and Brickbottom Artists Association

Hours:Work is underway and will continue 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for the next 2 to 3 weeks.

What to Expect:Continuous drilling and hauling operations as spoils from the drilling are taken to the laydown yard between Water Street and East Street.

Expect some vibration and noise from drilling and hauling operations.

Broadway Bridge Closure

  • Target Start: March 22, 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 for motorists and pedestrians in the area is expected. Extensive night and weekend work will be required to take advantage of narrow time windows when commuter rail lines are temporarily shut down or 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: Maintenance of Traffic Plans are being implemented and final outreach communications associated with the closure are underway. Once the bridge is closed on Friday, March 22, bridge deck demolition will begin and continue 24x7 over the weekend. The commuter rail line will be shut down on various weekends to facilitate this work. Demolition of the abutments and other substructure elements will follow with equipment operating at track level.
  • Benefits: The work will advance this important phase of the project forward in an efficient manner.

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 – Nighttime work is expected in late march. Details to follow.

Impacts: Most of the impact will occur when activities take place directly behind homes or businesses. Fence-line neighbors should expect some noise, vibration and heavy equipment traffic either on the alignment or in areas where the construction team is entering/exiting the rail alignment.

Areas impacted in next two weeks: Foundation drilling for walls are now underway on the east side of the alignment north of Broadway and north of College Ave. Once the foundations are drilled out, steel posts to hold sound wall panels will be set in concrete. Sound abatement panels will be installed later in the year.

Reinforced concrete drainage pipe (64-inches in diameter) installation continues between Central and Lowell streets with crews expected to reach Lowell during this period. At Lowell Street, crews will continue to install pipe under the bridge near the abutment. A second drainage crew is working their way south from Broadway.

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 right-of-way. In late April/early May 2018, 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 Consultants has reached out to property owners on the west side of the alignment and is actively performing surveys
  • Impacts: Approximately one hour time commitment on the part of property owners.
  • 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.
  • 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 – Spring 2019

Duration: Completion in early spring 2019

Purpose of Work: Make way for contractor material laydown area and site access.

Approach: Standard abatement and building demolition approach

Impacts: Temporary lane and street closures on Medford St.

Areas impacted in next two weeks: The demolition contractor mobilized at Homans on March 14. Physical exterior demolition will begin week of March 17. A traffic shift has been set up on Medford St. to move traffic away from the building. Expect a full closure of Medford St. in this area the weekend of April 6 as the front face of the building is brought down.

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: 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: Demolition of the above ground structure at 40-48 3rd Ave. is complete. Foundation demolition and segregated material shipping will be completed in the next two weeks.

Benefits: The site will the future vehicle maintenance facility.

Upcoming work - Demolition at Ball Square

Target Start: Target Start: Pre-demolition work complete. Building demolition – spring/early summer 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 - 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: Foundation work for the new rail bridge began in February and continues at the track level on either side of Washington St.

Now that a closure date for the Washington St. underpass has been set, the GLX Project outreach team will begin door to door residential notifications in and around the traffic detour zone. Variable message system boards and stationary signage will be placed along Washington St. and the detour route advising drivers of the upcoming roadway closure.

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