Metro

Four contractors for Green Line extension out

Train tracks were seen in Somerville along the proposed MBTA Green Line expansion area last year.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Train tracks were seen in Somerville along the proposed MBTA Green Line expansion area last year.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has terminated contracts with several firms working on the Green Line extension and will be appointing a new project manager, after consultants revealed last week that the Green Line process has been riddled with problems.

The move to end the contracts paves the way for the agency to put the remaining work -- which is the bulk of the project -- out to bid again to other companies, and likely does not point to the end of the project.

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On Thursday, MBTA officials said general manager Frank DePaola informed four firms about the end of the contracts: the construction group hired to build the project, a firm hired as a project manager, another firm hired to estimate the costs of the project, and the final designer of the project.

The long-awaited Green Line extension into Somerville and Medford has been under scrutiny after MBTA officials revealed the project could cost up to $1 billion more than recent estimates. Consultants hired by the MBTA last week said the MBTA had been ill-equipped to use a new contracting process, had allowed a construction firm to take advantage of the process, and were unsure of the actual cost of the project.

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Fiscal control board chairman Joseph Aiello, declined to comment at length, only saying he would let the action speak for itself.

White-Skanska-Kiewit, a consortium of major construction firms, was hired to build the project. HDR/Gilbane, another consortium, served as the project manager. Stanton Constructability Services served as another firm hired to estimate the costs of the project, and AECOM/HNTB was supposed to serve as the final designer for the project.

The MBTA has already spent about $380 million on the extension, including about $180 million for outside expertise, such as project managers. Even if the MBTA abandoned the rail project, officials said they would still need to follow through on a number of contracts, including the purchase of 24 new Green Line trolleys for $182.7 million.

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The two boards will continue their consideration of options for the Green Line extension project at a meeting on Monday.

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