WTS Chapters

Make a Donation

Picture1Executive Leaders

WTS offers executive leaders an opportunity to grow their business while supporting the industry.  Learn More »


DBE Members

Full Directory-->

Print tgus Page

WTS- Boston 2018 November Luncheon Recap

Frank Monkiewicz Photography

Written By: Amanda Alzaim, Jacobs

On November 15th, 2018, John Dalton, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Program Manager of the Green Line Extension (GLX), spoke to WTS-Boston about the GLX program history, the revised project scope, and contracting and risk management strategies. John closed his presentation with an update on project progress and key lessons learned.

John’s presentation began with a brief history of the project, which began as a mitigation measure of Boston’s Central Artery Project (CA/T).  The CA/T project increased vehicular capacity to the city, so to offset the increase in air pollution, the Green Line Extension Project was developed. In late 2015, the project was halted after a Guaranteed Maximum Price could not be agreed on.  This decision initiated a re-design to significantly reduce the project cost while maintaining the project goals within the requirements of the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA), an agreement between MBTA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The redesign encompassed five primary scope items. The stations, community path, retaining walls, bridges, and the Vehicle Maintenance Facility were all rescoped and redesigned to remove items that were not obligatory for complying with the FFGA. Many of the bridges within the initial scope were scheduled for a full reconstruction.  The redesign limited the scope to two full reconstructions and four rehabilitations.

In May 2016, the MBTA Board approved the reduced scope.  In November 2016, the Design-Build procurement process began. Dalton explained that the guiding principles of the re-procurement included complying with the FFGA requirements, maintaining costs within the affordability limit, procuring maximum scope without jeopardizing project budget, and encouraging innovation. It was also important to minimize and share risk.

The design build proposals were comprised of three components: the price offering, the technical proposal, and additive options. The additive options included six items that had to be sequentially added back, without exceeding the Affordability Limit. The options were arranged with items benefiting the GLX customers listed first, items benefiting the community were second, and items benefiting MBTA operations were third. For each item added, points were assigned to improve the bidder’s Overall Value Rating.  This formula encouraged proposers to add in as much as possible while still meeting the affordability limit. 

On December 20th, 2017, GLX Constructors received Notice to Proceed on their winning bid of 1.082 billion dollars which included all six additive options! The Green Line Extension Project will add seven light-rail stations: one is a relocation of the current Lechmere Station, five new stations will be added on the proposed Medford Branch, and one new station will be located on the Union Square Branch. The project will comply with all environmental commitments and the FFGA. The scope also includes a multiuse community path, the procurement of 24 light rail vehicles, and a Vehicle Maintenance Facility. The GLX project aims to improve local and regional air quality while reaping economic benefits, including the improvement of the commercial tax base. The extension will also increase the number of Somerville residents within walking distance of rail transit from 20% to 80%!

The overall project is divided up into 58 discrete packages. Design is at roughly 50% completion and construction is underway. Dalton closed his presentation with five lessons he’s learned managing GLX: (1) promote innovation, (2) optimize competitive tension during procurement, (3) be open to change, (4) never underestimate the importance of organization capacity, and (5) don’t disproportionately assign risk.

Thank you to John Dalton for speaking with WTS-Boston! This project is vital to the local community, the region, and the MBTA.



Photos by Frank Monkiewicz Photography. To see more photos from the event please visit the WTS-Boston Flickr page here.



| ©2011 WTS. All rights reserved. | Website design and development by Americaneagle.com