GLX Update: Bye Bye, Lechmere. Hello, Broadway Bridge.

Demolition at Lechmere Station. Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Hard to believe but the Green Line Extension is actually making progress. The last few weeks have seen a flurry of activity and the long-in-the-works project is finally, mercifully moving towards completion. And while our Big Dig-traumatized brains won’t accept GLX is a real thing until we see an undergrad barf on Tufts Station, we are happy to see work moving forward.

The big news is that the Broadway bridge  in Somerville opened on June 7, roughly three months after it was scheduled to finish. The site of the forthcoming Ball Square Station, the upgraded bridge literally connects the east and west halves of city and its absence has been a major hassle for drivers and pedestrians since 2019.

The Bridge Hopper shuttle bus service was  suspended in April and speeding drivers can return to terrorizing main streets instead of quiet neighborhoods. Pedestrians can finally take the most direct path from Ball Square to Magoun Square but are reminded that the new sidewalks weren’t designed with social distancing in mind.

Closer Than Ever

Out east, the Washington St. bridge opened on May 31, bringing Union Square one step closer to having its own light rail stop for the first time in generations. Work continues on the elevated traintracks but temporary sidewalks are in place and MBTA bus routes 80 and 89 have resumed.

The summer should see the end of construction, with final pavement surfaces, traffic lanes and accessibility features being installed. Brace yourselves for an influx of subrubanites that “heard Union Square was cool”.

The End of the End of the Line

And lastly, goodbye Lechmere Station. You were certainly a subway stop. Service stopped in May and the old station is currently being demolished to make way for the shiny, not at all steampunk-y new station on the north side of Monsignor O’Brien Highway.

We will miss waking up after a long train ride and saying “damnit, why am I in Lechmere? How did I miss Park Street? I’m never going to Allston again.” On the upside, we won’t have to take the Red Line nearly as often. Hallelujah.

Check Mass.gov for the latest updates on the Green Line Extension project.

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