The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is scrambling to resolve a major cost overrun for the planned Green Line extension—in peril is potential rail service to one of the most densely populated cities in the country.
"The frequently delayed Green Line extension into Somerville and Medford could cost as much as $1 billion more than the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s budget estimates, raising doubts about whether the project will be completed," reports Nicole Dungca.
"MBTA officials on Monday revealed they may need between $700 million and $1 billion more — in addition to the current $1.99 billion price tag — to finish the project, which would create seven new stations and add about 4.7 miles of track to the trolley line."
Dungca quotes Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack saying that "everything is on the table" to bridge the shortfall in finding, including cancelling the project. The uncertain status of the project risks $1 billion in federal money awarded the project by the federal government in December. The line, if built, would serve one of the most densely populated cities in the country in Somerville. " When — and now if — the project is done, about 70 percent of residents in the city will be within walking distance of a rail station."
As for why the cost of the project was so drastically underestimated—Duncga cites Pollack again, who says that T officials estimated the cost of the new line based on the cost of large MBTA projects during the recession.
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