Balfour Beatty, as part of GLX Constructors, Celebrates the Grand Opening of the MBTA Green Line Extension to Union Square

by Balfour Beatty

March 23, 2022

BOSTON, MA –  Balfour Beatty, as part of the Green Line Extension (GLX) Constructors joint venture team, celebrates the grand opening of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line Extension light-rail project’s Union Square line in Somerville. The completion was celebrated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), MBTA, and federal, state, and local officials including U.S. Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Barker, Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, and community partners.

The completion of the Green Line Extension to Union Square is the first of two lines that will be developed on the 4.7-mile light-rail project. The major milestone includes the delivery of an approximately one-mile double-track electrified railroad, developed adjacent to the existing Fitchburg Commuter Rail tracks, that now consists of two public train stations open for public revenue service extending from Lechmere Station in Cambridge and Union Station in Somerville.

GLX Constructors project team members delivered system elements including one traction power substation, four signal houses, and a complete Overhead Contact System. Teammates also completed Civils elements including 13-track storage yards that are approximately two track miles, plaza areas around stations, a mile-long viaduct, sound walls, fencing, one vehicle maintenance facility, and one transportation building, all built in environmentally sensitive areas.

“The opening of the Union Square Line of MBTA’s Green Line Extension project is a major milestone in the delivery of the light-rail system that will significantly enhance the travel experience for passengers and provide reliable public transit service,” said Mark Konchar, Balfour Beatty senior vice president and managing director of U.S. rail operations. “I would like to personally thank each of our teammates and partners’ efforts in safely achieving the official opening of the light rail’s first line between Lechmere and Union Square stations. We look forward to the entire team working together to efficiently and safely deliver the next vital section of the railway that will open another revenue service for commuting passengers throughout the Boston community.”

The second line of the Green Line Extension rail system will feature the construction of five stations that will be developed along the existing Lowell Commuter Rail corridor extending from Lechmere Station to College Avenue in Medford. This line is expected to be completed in late Summer 2022.

Once complete, MBTA’s Green Line Extension project will significantly reduce automobile congestion and related air emission. It will also provide communities with universal access and new stations that meet or exceed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. It is expected to support increased ridership of more than 50,000 passenger trips per day and reduce regional daily Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) by 25,728 miles.