The seven new stations for the MBTA Green Line extension into Somerville and Medford near Boston are now scheduled to open in 2021, pushing back the long-delayed project yet again, state transportation officials said Wednesday.
When the federal government pledged $1 billion to the project in late 2014, the Union Square and Washington Street stations were scheduled to open in 2017, with the other stations scheduled to open in 2020. But rising cost estimates prompted the state to halt the project and complete a scaled-back redesign.
The project still needs to clear several hurdles, including hiring a new team to work exclusively on the project, getting the green light for a major grant from the federal government and filling a $75 million funding gap. The project is already relying on getting additional funds from Cambridge and Somerville, and Somerville’s Board of Aldermen is poised to vote on the money Thursday.
When completed, the Green Line would be extended from a relocated Lechmere Station in East Cambridge to Union Square in Somerville, and College Avenue in Medford. That includes building 4.7 miles of track and seven stations.
Under the new preliminary schedule, a new team of contractors should be selected by the end of 2017. Additionally, officials have changed the name of two stops: Washington Street will now be called the East Somerville station, and Lowell Street will now be called Magoun Square.
Several community members voiced concerns about a multiuse community path that will run along the stations. The previous version was about 10,000 feet, but in the redesign, officials eliminated 3,000 feet and several elements that would have better protected cyclists and pedestrians.