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MBTA announces 4-week closure of Green Line Extension

Written by Javed Iqbal

Less than five months after part of the Green Line Extension began operating, the MBTA is announcing plans to close the tracks for four weeks and delay the opening of a new branch. Green Line service in both directions between Government Center and Union Square will be replaced by free shuttle buses from Aug. 22 to Sept. 18, the MBTA announced Friday. Officials said the disruption is necessary to allow work on the Government Center Garage project. Planned projects during this period include overhead line adjustments on the East Cambridge Viaduct that will eliminate a speed limit, installation of sound barriers and testing of track and communications infrastructure. Also on Friday, MBTA officials pushed back the start date for the Green Line Extension’s Medford branch to late November. It was originally expected to open in late summer. It’s another blow to riders in Medford, who are also affected by the MBTA’s plan to shut down the entire Orange Line for 30 days of maintenance and repair work starting at 9 p.m. on Aug. 19. “Much of the work to be done during the diversion in service from Aug. 22 to Sept. 18 is tied to the opening of the Medford Branch,” officials wrote in a statement. “The start date has also been affected by the availability of safety and operations support crews that were previously prioritized for the GLX but are now reallocated to other critical MBTA construction work, including in the MBTA’s response to the Federal Transit Administration’s Safety Management Inspection directives.” a recent MBTA board meeting, members voted unanimously to approve a deal worth up to $37 million with Yankee Line Inc. to supply shuttle buses under the Orange and Green Line projects. The Federal Transit Administration issued four multifaceted directives in June after completing a safety review of the system. It issued an additional order for a “safety shutdown” in July, affecting all employees who work with disabled rail vehicles in the T’s maintenance facilities and rail yards. Among the problems identified by the FTA in June were a backlog of thousands of known defects related to rail infrastructure and a shorthanded Operations Control Center.

Less than five months after part of the Green Line Extension began operating, the MBTA announces plans to close the tracks for four weeks and delay the opening of a new branch.

Green Line service in both directions between Government Center and Union Square will be replaced by free shuttle buses from Aug. 22 to Sept. 18, the MBTA announced Friday. Officials said the disruption is necessary to allow work on the Government Center Garage project.

Planned projects during this period include overhead line adjustments on the East Cambridge Viaduct that will eliminate a speed limit, installation of sound barriers and testing of track and communications infrastructure.

Also on Friday, MBTA officials pushed back the start date for the Green Line Extension’s Medford Branch to late November. It was originally expected to open in late summer.

It is another blow to the riders in Medford which is also affected by the MBTA’s plan to shut down the entire Orange Line for 30 days of maintenance and repair work starting at 21.00 on 19 August.

“Much of the work to be done during the diversion in service from August 22 to September 18 is linked to the opening of the Medford branch,” officials wrote in a statement. “The start date has also been affected by the availability of safety and operations support crews that were previously prioritized for the GLX but are now reallocated to other critical MBTA construction work, including in the MBTA’s response to the Federal Transit Administration’s Safety Management Inspection directives.”

At a recent MBTA board meeting, members voted unanimously to approve a deal worth up to $37 million with Yankee Line Inc. to supply shuttle buses under the Orange and Green Line projects.

Federal Transit Administration issued four multifaceted directives in June after completing a security review of the system. It issued a further order to a “security standdown” in Julythat affects all employees who work with disabled rail vehicles in the T’s maintenance facilities and rail yards.

Among the problems the FTA identified in June were a backlog of thousands of known defects related to rail infrastructure and a shorthand operations control center.

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Javed Iqbal

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