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Structural issue disrupts MBTA service, closes streets near Government Center

Written by Javed Iqbal

BOSTON – A structural problem with the Government Center Parking Garage is causing problems for the MBTA and affecting traffic in the area.

On Thursday afternoon, HYM, the contractor demolishing Government Center Garage, MBTA, announced that a garage support column in the MBTA tunnel has been severely deteriorated.

HYM said the column was compromised due to water damage is not a result of ongoing construction work in the garage.

“A column below the surface near the green and orange lines was identified as compromised due to years of water damage,” HYM said in a statement. “The condition of this column is not related to the demolition work on the Government Garage.”

MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak contradicted this statement and blamed the construction company.

“This service outage due to HYM’s project is unacceptable and MBTA will seek to hold HYM Construction liable for all costs associated with this event,” Poftak said. “Rider safety is our top priority, and unfortunately, as a result of this private party’s project, we will have to redirect trains until the tunnels can be inspected and cleared by independent experts.”

The MBTA announced during the commute Thursday night that the Green Line service will be replaced by shuttle buses between the Government Center and Lechmere.

The Orange Line is suspended between North Station and Back Bay.

A confused crowd was completely tired of the recent failure in Boston’s public transportation.

“Look at this. We’re lost, nowhere to go,” said one man. “We do not even know how we will get home again. I have been working all day. I am tired, I want to go home!”

Orange and Green Line riders were on a stray ride in the city, desperate for a direction.

“We were walking from Chinatown to downtown, so from downtown everyone was confused,” said another rider at the Government Center. “We went from downtown to state, state to here. Now we’re here, with a shuttle bus running.”

Boston Police said many streets in the area are also closed due to the structural issues. Parts of Congress Street, Surface Road, New Chardon Street and Sudbury Street will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians.

Police say the roadblocks and detours will remain in effect until further notice.

The Orange Line Service runs between Oak Grove and North Station and between Forest Hills and Back Bay. Customers can use the Green Line service through Downtown.

Mayor Michelle Wu said the city will work with the MBTA to support shuttle bus diversion.

“Tonight, the city of Boston took the precautionary measure to close the streets around the Government Center Garage, while the owner of the garage and the MBTA are conducting further structural analyzes of a deteriorating support pillar found today under the garage,” Wu said.

The service on the green and orange line was interrupted in March due to a breakdown at the Government Center’s car park. More than a week after the collapse, engineers said it was safe for service to resume.

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Javed Iqbal

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