- The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has announced another delay for the $2.3 billion Boston Green Line light-rail extension, estimating the seven new station's new opening date to be 2021, according to The Boston Globe.
- The stations were originally supposed to be operational by the end of 2017. The MBTA now expects to be only at the contractor-selection phase of the project by then.
- In addition to a new contractor, the MBTA also must assemble an in-house team to manage the project, secure a $1 billion federal grant from the Federal Transit Administration and find $75 million to plug a hole in its financing.
This is just the latest development in the saga of the Green Line. The project had already become controversial — facing cost overruns and delays — by the time the MBTA fired the first contractor team nearly a year ago. In fact the project, with its $1 billion in extra expenditures, was on track to be the most expensive MBTA project ever at $642 million per mile. The agency blamed mismanagement on the part of the original construction team and said general contractor White-Skanska-Kiewit ran up costs through its maximum price contract. However, a Berkeley Research Group report found that the MBTA itself played a significant role in the project's setbacks.
After stopping work on the Green Line, the MBTA announced that it would downsize the project to a more manageable — and affordable — $2.3 billion, down from the estimated $3 billion price tag. The FTA said it is still committed to the project but that it is waiting for the MBTA to provide a plan for success before releasing the grant money. As part of the revised project guidelines, the MBTA decided to scrap the original contract delivery method and go with a design-build model instead.
John Dalton, who was hired last month to manage the project, represented a positive turning point for the project. He previously worked as a manager for the Chicago Transit Authority and has also supervised billions of dollars in transportation projects in the U.S. and Dubai.