GLX construction activities and traffic updates

Feb. 2 - 22, 2020, construction outlook and upcoming plans. Work schedule is subject to change based on weather or other factors.

Table of Contents

Union Square Station

Overview of work in the area: Approximately 1,500 feet of wall stretching from the Prospect Street Bridge and running along the train tracks to the Medford Street Bridge (Behind Target) will be installed. Construction of the wall involves vibrating vertical metal sheets into the ground approximately 15 feet in depth. The sheets interlock with one-another forming a structurally sound retaining wall.

Work Schedule: Monday – Friday, with frequent weekends and nights.

Work Planned for the next few weeks: Sheet pile driving is progressing behind the GLXC field office and the Target building on Somerville Ave.

Night Work: Yes, retaining wall work will continue for the next few weeks. Contractors will make efforts to minimize noise, however, this work may be disruptive at times.

Lechmere Station

Overview of current work in the area: Besides building a new Lechmere Station on the north side of Monsignor O'Brien Highway, work in this area includes removing and reconstructing an elevated viaduct that will connect to the existing structure running along Charles River Dam Road. After the Lechmere Station stop, the viaduct continues behind buildings along O'Brien Highway until it splits, with one leg heading to Union Square and the other north to the future East Somerville Station and beyond.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and frequent nights and weekends

Work Planned for the next few weeks: Near the future Lechmere station and in the MBTA Boston Engine Terminal area, concrete cap pouring, steel beam placement, and deck construction for the new viaduct continues. Between East St. and Water St. work attaching the steel girders to the concrete piers is progressing.

At Brickbottom Condominiums, foundation drilling for the elevated portion of the Community Path Extension is complete. Above ground construction in the area is quickly moving forward.

Night Work: Yes. Expect moderate construction noise primarily due to movement of heavy machinery and fastening of the steel beams for the viaduct, some of which can only be done at night to avoid day-to-day train service disruption. Contractors will make efforts to direct lighting away from residential buildings.

Vehicle Maintenance Facility (3rd Ave)

Overview of current work in the area: Construction is well underway for the buildings that make up the future Green Line Vehicle Maintenance Facility. A retaining wall is being built that encompasses the entire area footprint. Installation of new drainage and the retaining walls are near completion and soon the buildings will begin to take shape.

Work Schedule: Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. with regular weekend & night work.

Work Planned for the next few weeks: Foundation work for the new Vehicle Maintenance Facility continues as does work on a retaining wall around the perimeter of the facility. Storm-line replacement work on Third Ave. is continuing to progress towards Inner Belt Road and will be completed during this period.

Night work: Yes. Drainage work along Third Ave. to continue at night along with building foundation work.

East Somerville Station (Fitchburg St. to Walnut St.)

Overview of current work in the area: Both commuter line tracks have been shifted to their permanent position on the east side of the alignment. Work can now begin on the west side of the rail right-of-way including the demolition of the second half of the Washington St. rail overpass, installation of new drainage, and constructing of retaining walls.

Work Schedule: Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. with some weekends & frequent nights

Work Planned for the next few weeks: We will begin to mobilize demolition and construction equipment needed to demolish and rebuild the 2nd half of the Washington St. overpass.

Drainage installation work around Washington St. continues. Further north, drilling equipment is being mobilized north of Cross St. to start work on a retaining wall.

Night Work: Yes. Expect the movement of heavy machinery in this area as it moves further north up the alignment.

Gilman Square Station (Walnut St. to Central St.)

Overview of current work in the area: The GLX Project continues to work closely with the Somerville High School construction team near the future Gilman Square Station. Currently, work consists of building a Traction Power Substation near the Medford St. Bridge and building of a new retaining wall on the high school side of the tracks.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. with weekends and night work during this period.

Work Planned for the next few weeks: The commuter line track shift is now completed on this section of the project. Work is progressing on the Traction Power Substation close to the Medford St. Bridge. Retaining and noise wall construction continues on both sides of the alignment.

Night work: Yes. Some level of night work is expected during this period, including using the yellow multipurpose construction train to move concrete barrier, haul soils from excavation, or move ballast (crushed stone) material to support the next section of track to be shifted. Expect construction lighting and elevated noise levels which may be disruptive at times.

Magoun Square Station (Central to Cedar)

Overview of work in the area: While Installing new drainage and building walls (both retaining and noise walls) have been the main activities in this area throughout 2019, the current emphasis is on getting the commuter rail shifted to the east side of the alignment. Later in the year we will also start placing sound wall panels on the eastern side of the project both here and along the rest of the alignment.

Work Schedule: Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and frequent nights and weekends

Work Planned for the next few weeks: Soil excavation continues behind the Somerville Department of Public Works building. Once this work is completed, we will finish removing concrete barrier along the east side of the alignment and place it on the west side in preparation for work to ramp up there. Work will then begin in preparation for shifting the commuter rail track between Sycamore and Cedar St. This effort will include placing tons of ballast stone and pre-positioning track where it will be welded and secured to new railroad ties.

Night Work: Yes. There will be equipment moving from Lowell Street to north of College Ave. including heavy equipment off-loading soil and materials at the Murdock St. access point.

Ball Square Station (Cedar St. to Harvard St.)

Overview of work in the area: Construction of a longer span Broadway Bridge is the most visible work near the future Ball Square Station. The site that was cleared to make way for future Ball Square Station and a Traction Power Substation is currently serving as a laydown yard for soils and bridge materials. Work in the area includes:

  • Stabilizing the soil on both sides of the bridge to support the subsequent phases of bridge construction.
  • Drilling shafts and building the abutments that will support the new Broadway Bridge
  • Developing footprint of future Ball Square Station
  • Noise wall construction between Cedar St. and Broadway
  • Small section of noise wall construction north of Broadway and connecting to existing wall at Granville Ave.
  • Install deep drainage system
  • Relocation of major utility lines beneath the tracks

Work Schedule: Monday – Sunday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and frequent nights.

Work Planned for the next few weeks: Drainage work on Granville Ave. continues as crews advance toward the manhole and existing stormwater line at Winchester. South of the Broadway Bridge, drainage installation continues next to the commuter line tracks.

Work continues on Broadway Bridge with the pouring of the bridge’s concrete center pier scheduled during this period. Rebar for the abutment on the Dialysis facility side of the bridge will be completed and concrete forms will be assembled in preparation for a concrete pour in February.

Work on a traction power substation which will be adjacent to the Ball Square Station has begun. The foundation area has been excavated and work in the next few weeks will include pouring the concrete foundation and laying out drainage, water lines plus other utilities.

Night Work: Yes. Expect night work to continue north and south of the Broadway Bridge from Granville Ave. in Medford to Cedar Street in Somerville as crews advance foundations, walls, and utility relocation to prepare for the commuter rail track shift over to its permanent location. During this work, contractors will make efforts to minimize noise, however, noise levels may be disruptive at times. Efforts will be made to minimize light spillage into residential areas.

Please note that a construction train used for excavation and hauling of materials will be active throughout the nights and weekend. This heavy piece of equipment, which is regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration, is required to use its horn for safety purposes whenever it stops and starts.

Medford/Tufts Station (Harvard St. to Winthrop St.)

Overview of work in the area: With the commuter rail track moved to its final position on the east side of the corridor, work is now focused on the west side walls and station.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and frequent weekends

Work Planned for the next few weeks: Drilling and placing piles for the retaining wall on the west side of the alignment continues. Crews are making their way north of the bridge as they continue along Boston Ave.

Night Work: Night work is not planned during this period, however, this is subject to change. Whether night work is occurring or not, passing trains may sound horns before entering construction zones further south of this construction work zone. The yellow multi-purpose machine (MPM) also stages in this area at times including at night. Typically, the MPM has to clear the switch just south of College Ave. Once it is on the intended track to support construction further down the alignment, it often must idle for significant periods of time.



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Somerville, MA 02143