Somerville bridges will remain closed longer than expected and the last two stops on the Green Line will shut down for close to a year amid major work to renovate and expand the subway line, the MBTA announced Monday.
Lechmere, the Green Line's current terminus to the north, and Science Park will go offline in May 2020 to allow for construction and testing of a new stretch of track that will eventually connect to a brand-new Lechmere Station and for repair work on the Lechmere Viaduct.
Bus shuttles will run between Lechmere and North Station, where Green Line service resume, for the year-long shutdown. The T projects that about 6,500 passengers travel to Lechmere or Science Park on an average weekday.
The T also plans to keep three Somerville bridges closed to foot, bicycle and vehicle traffic longer than initially forecast as part of the Green Line Extension. Reopening dates were pushed from April to May for the Washington Street Bridge, from May to October for the Medford Street Bridge, and from March to July for the Broadway Bridge. The School Street bridge will not close until the Washington Street Bridge reopens. Once it does, it will be unavailable until June 2021.
During Monday's meeting, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone described managing traffic headaches alongside the immense construction project as "collectively trying to thread a needle."
Changes stem from both the Green Line Extension project, which will push the line from its Lechmere terminus northwest into six new stations in Somerville and Medford, and from the Green Line Transformation project that dovetails with the extension.
Despite the later opening dates for bridges, Green Line Extension Program Manager John Dalton said the project remains on schedule to open by December 2021 within its $2.3 billion budget.