Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and US Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao have launched its $2.3bn Green Line Extension (GLX) light rail project in a ceremony in Somerville, Massachusetts.
The event saw both Chao and Baker break ground in a bid to inaugurate the beginning of works to extend the public transit line about 4.7 miles through east Cambridge into Somerville and Medford.
Chao also used the event to announce a $225m federal grant agreement for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) GLX light rail project.
The grant marks the second instalment of funding for the GLX after the FTA signed a $996m Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with MBTA for the construction of the new line stretching from Cambridge to Medford.
Chao said: “The Green Line Extension project will improve mobility, access to jobs, schools and the quality of life for tens of thousands of passengers in the Boston area.
The project involves seven new light rail stations, the replacement or rehabilitation of eight bridges and a new pedestrian/bike path.
The GLX is expected to support nearly 40,000 new transit trips daily while improving access to jobs and opportunities in Boston, as well as the communities of Somerville and Medford.
Charlie Baker said: “The Green Line Extension will improve access to education, housing and job opportunities across the entire MTBA system.
“Our administration is grateful for the collaboration and support we have received from Secretary Chao and all partners at the federal, state and local level to reach this milestone and begin a project that will have a transformational impact on this region of the Commonwealth by accommodating riders and spurring economic growth.”
The light rail line is scheduled to become operational by January 2022.