GLX construction activities and traffic updates

October 30 - November 15 construction outlook and upcoming plans. This schedule is subject to change based on weather or other factors.

Table of Contents

Track Shift

Target Start:  (Work is now complete)

Purpose of Work?   Provide GLX Project construction workers with maximum amount of space to safely work on the east side of the rail alignment. 

Approach:  Shift existing commuter rail from its current alignment toward the west/south side of the MBTA right-of-way.

Duration: 7 days per week October 19 through October 28.

Impacts: During weekday and weekend daytime hours, expect more site prep, track placement and adjustments, and hauling/dumping of crushed stone in support of the shift to the new track location. Night work (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) is expected to take place sporadically between Lowell Street and Inner Belt Road in order to access commuter rail tracks during track limitations and outages.

The Lowell Commuter Rail Line is undergoing limitations and outages during this period due to Keolis Positive Train Control (PTC) testing; GLX operations are coordinated with these existing impacts.

Areas impacted in next two weeks: Work is done.

Benefits:  Maximizes work space and safety factor for workers and commuter rail operations. Further advances the completion of the GLX project.

Pre-Construction Survey

  • Target Start: Work underway
  • Duration: Surveys of each property take approximately one hour to complete. Work will continue throughout 2018.
  • 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 went into effect and property owners were contacted requesting access to their properties in order to perform the survey work (inside & out). Notifications and survey work will continue throughout 2018. Survey work will continue to progress from the northern part of alignment and progress to the south.
  • Impacts: Some time commitment by the part of homeowner.
  • Areas impacted in next two weeks: All Phase 1 properties on the east/north side of the ROW between 200 Inner Belt Road in Somerville and Burget Avenue in Medford have been notified at least 3 times and are considered complete. Peer Consultants is continuing preconstruction work between in the area near East Street, Cambridge. The project will continue to book appointments in that area through October.
  • 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 now checking bait stations once a week 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 as does the removal of trash higher up the hillsides on the east side of the alignment. This work is now possible because of the track shift which provides workers additional space to operate outside of the active commuter & freight rail footprint. In response to an uptick in calls in certain areas, the project has intensified baiting in those areas to eliminate the conditions that promote feeding and harborage.
  • 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: Minimal
  • 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: October 2018
  • Duration: 3 - 4 weeks
  • Purpose of Work: Make way for contractor material laydown area and site access.
  • Approach: Standard abatement and demolition approach
  • Impacts: Temporary lane closures on Medford St.
  • Areas impacted in next two weeks: Personnel will be inside of the building performing hazardous material abatement in order to prepare the building for demolition. Additionally, the exterior windows of the building, which contain asbestos, will be removed. Per regulation and standard practice, residents may see red asbestos caution or danger tape near or around the building, workers wearing white suits and masks, and white or clear colored polyurethane sheeting in the building and on the ground where work is taking place above. A licensed, independent third party will monitor ambient air as an additional precaution.
  • 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.

Upcoming work - Demolition at Ball Square

Target Start:  Late 2018

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: None

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

Upcoming work - Broadway Bridge Closure

  • Target Start: Early 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:  Intermittent closures through fall 2020. While some weekend closures are planned to complete early phases of the work, 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:  Temporary lane closures and bridge repairs are expected to wrap up over the next few weeks. The repairs are necessary to prepare the bridge for major reconstruction. 

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

Upcoming work - Demolition at Third Avenue

Target Start:  Late 2018

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

Approach:  Standard demolition approach.

Duration:  5 - 6 weeks.

Impacts:  Adjacent businesses property owners including businesses will be notified via certified and regular mail of the upcoming demolition work.  

Areas impacted in next two weeks:  In advance of demolition and per standard practice, abatement and removal of hazardous material on the site will commence over the next few weeks. On-site monitoring will be conducted during the operation per environmental regulations.

Benefits:  The site will provide an off-road construction staging and is the site of the future vehicle maintenance facility.


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