Assembly Square (MBTA station)
Station under construction in December 2013
|Address||G Street, Somerville, Massachusetts|
|Platforms||1 island platform|
|Tracks||3 (two station tracks and one unused express track)|
|Parking||200 spaces (shared with nearby parking lot)|
|Bicycle facilities||Racks provided|
|Opened||Fall 2014 (planned)|
|Owned by||Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority|
|Passengers (2030)||5,000 (projected)|
Assembly Square (to be signed as Assembly) is an under-construction station on the MBTA's Orange Line. It is being built alongside the planned Assembly Square project (which is also located right next to the Assembly Square Marketplace). The station is an "infill stop", since Orange Line trains currently pass frequently on existing tracks through the site.
The Assembly Square project is estimated to generate 45,000 new vehicle trips each day, and the new station is intended to reduce that number by diverting trips to mass transit. Ridership projections are for 5,000 riders per day in 2030.
The station, which is planned to open in Fall 2014, will be the first new station on the MBTA subway system since 1987.
The station was meant to provide convenient access to the stores at Assembly Square, especially the new store that furniture retailer IKEA was planning to build there, as well as the surrounding area. However, IKEA canceled all plans to build a store there in July 2012. As of 2013[update], the city of Somerville has been looking for other options for the land in order to sell it.
Assembly station is to be in the rear of the Assembly Square development, on the existing Orange Line tracks near the Mystic River.
The station will consist of a single island platform 410 feet (120 m) long, to handle up to 6 railcars on each side. Unlike Community College, Sullivan, and Wellington, Assembly will not have a second island platform to serve the (currently unused) third track, which was intended to be an express track. The station will have two headhouses, one on each end of the platform. Two footbridges, one from each headhouse, will cross over the inbound track and connect to parking on G Street. The station will include bicycle storage facilities and a bus lane, which will likely serve some or all of bus routes 90, 92, and 95, which pass nearby.
Several public art elements will be incorporated into the station. These include artistic benches and a metal panel mosaic on the station façade (both designed by Artists for Humanity) and MBTA-designed panels about the site's history.
Adding a commuter rail station at Assembly Square was listed as a possibility in 2012 as an interim air quality mitigation measure in response to delays building the Green Line Extension However, such a station could not be completed by 2015, and the project was not supported by MassDOT. The station would have required building separate platforms for the Haverhill Line and the Newburyport/Rockport Line, which split near the station site.
History and financing
Construction is estimated to cost up to $57 million, of which $22 million (plus an optional $3.5 million extra) will be from the state's Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. The remaining cost is divided between federal funding including the FTA Section 5309 New Starts program ($16 million) and the developer of Assembly Square ($15 million), Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT).
The area around the station formerly hosted a Ford automobile assembly plant, which used the adjacent Haverhill Line for rail access. Although the plant is long gone, the Assembly Square name is a reference to the site's history.
On February 8, 2011, the MBTA board unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding between the MBTA and FRIT, which defines the funding sources for the project. The memorandum was a "critical milestone," according to a FRIT executive. Somerville approved the project on May 2, 2011, and two days later the MBTA opened bidding for construction, which was planned to start at the end of 2011.
On October 5, 2011, the MBTA announced the award of a $29,229,184 construction contract to S&R Construction Co., Inc., with construction to begin later that fall. The station is now expected to be completed in Fall 2014; the work will require 18 weekend closures of the Orange Line from Sullivan to Oak Grove. The first weekend closures began in June 2012 and will continue until the station opens. The closures were extended to five nights per week for the second half of 2012, and continued sporadically into 2013.
For construction, the MBTA has shifted outbound trains to the normally unused express track and inbound trains to the outbound track, to give construction crews full access to the site. In January 2013, the MBTA began constructing concrete pillars to support the platform and headhouses; elevator shaft construction began in the spring. Construction of the headhouse frames began in June 2013, and the platform segments were laid in July. By the end of 2013, much of the structure of the station was complete.
- "Assembly Square Station Final Design". Federal Transit Administration. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
- "Assembly Square Public Meeting". MassDOT. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
- Coughlin, Kerri (25 October 2011). "Construction on Assembly Square T stop to begin later this fall". Tufts Daily. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
- MassDOT (12 January 2010). "Assembly Square Presentation". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
- Central Transportation Planning Staff (23 January 2012). "Green Line Extension SIP Mitigation Inventory". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Moskowitz, Eric (6 October 2011). "MBTA board OK’s millions for stations". Boston Globe. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- Taylor, Denise (9 February 2011). "MBTA Approves Assembly Sq. T-Stop Agreement". Somerville Patch. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
- Douglas, Craig M. (8 February 2011). "Assembly Square advances on key MBTA vote". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
- Douglas, Craig M. (4 May 2011). "MBTA opens bidding for Assembly Square station". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
- Orchard, Chris (24 May 2012). "Bus Diversions on Orange Line to Begin in June". Somerville Patch. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
- Orchard, Chris (27 June 2012). "Buses Replace Evening Northbound Orange Line Trains Beginning July 8". South End Patch. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- "Crucial Progress Continues on Assembly Station Project". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
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