MBTA unveils sparkling new Assembly Station in Somerville

The Assembly Row MBTA station opened to passengers Tuesday. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
The Assembly Row MBTA station opened to passengers Tuesday.

Nothing compares to that fresh, new MBTA station smell, and for the first time in more than two decades, passengers stepping onto the platform at Assembly Station in Somerville on Tuesday got a whiff of it.

Enjoy it while it lasts, people.

The new Orange Line stop opened for service Tuesday after two-and-a-half years of construction. It is the first new rapid transit station to be built in Massachusetts in 27 years.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said the station will boost the percentage of the city’s population living within walking distance – about half a mile – of a T station from 15 percent to 85 percent.

“I usually go to Sullivan Square, and it is pretty congested. This is great because we can walk to this station, and I think it will relieve some of the congestion at Sullivan,” said Somerville resident Mary Robertson, who stopped by the station Tuesday afternoon to see Governor Deval Patrick celebrate its opening.

A passenger prepares to board the Orange Line at Assembly Station in Somerville.  PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
A passenger prepares to board the Orange Line at Assembly Station in Somerville.

Ann Cavallo-Hartnett, a long-time Somerville resident, said she’d been eagerly awaiting some vitality in the neighborhood.

“It’s great to see finally some new development in this whole area. It brings excitement and enthusiasm in addition to all the practical things it will bring, like jobs,” Cavallo-Hartnett said.

The station design includes a glass two-story entrance building at the corner of Foley and G Streets and a glazed glass bridge crossing the inbound track and leading to the fare gates.

The total cost of the station is $56 million, and was funded by public-private partnership.

The daily projected ridership at the Assembly station is expected to be between 4,800 and 5,400 passengers by 2030, according to the MBTA.

The $1.5 billion Assembly Row development will include more than 2.8 million square feet of office space, 635,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment spaces, and 1,813 homes.

It will also feature a waterfront park, open space, and new bike and pedestrian paths connecting existing neighborhoods with the new development.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
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