The Green Line Is Taking A Summer Break

The C and E branches will each close for a month this summer to accelerate track work and intersection upgrades. Will MassDOT give buses the space they need to pick up the slack?

MBTA workers replace rail inside the Haymarket Orange Line station. Courtesy of the MBTA.
MBTA workers replace rail inside the Haymarket Orange Line station. Courtesy of the MBTA.

The MBTA today announced plans to close two branches of the Green Line for a month at a time this summer in order to replace tracks and upgrade intersections as part of its “Green Line Transformation” projects.

In order to expedite track replacements and intersection upgrades, the T plans to close the Green Line’s C branch – which runs along Beacon Street through Brookline – during the entire month of July, and the E branch – which runs along Huntington Avenue to the Longwood Medical Area – for most of August.

In an effort to get deferred maintenance work done more quickly, the T began closing segments of the Orange Line for entire weekends last fall, which allowed workers more extended and productive blocks of time in which they could set up workzones, replace tracks, and upgrade stations.

The T claims that by shutting down each of these Green Line branches for a solid month, they can complete work that would have otherwise taken two years to finish.

In a separate project, the MBTA recently announced that the north end of the Green Line, from Lechmere to North Station, would also be shut down for nearly a year starting in May as part of the Green Line Extension project.

On Wednesday, seven lawmakers representing nearby districts delivered a letter to MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack to request dedicated bus lanes on the Charles River Dam road in order to facilitate replacement bus service during the closure.

The project “will necessitate the diversion of some 14,000 individual trips from the Green Line to replacement shuttle buses every weekday,” according to the letter co-signed by Rep. Mike Connolly, Rep. Jay Livingstone, Rep. Christine Barber, Rep. Denise Provost, Sen. Patricia Jehlen, Sen. Joe Boncore, and Sen. Sal Didomenico. “For the sake of fairness, equity, and efficiency, every effort should be made to prioritize these transit riders.”

The T also plans to numerous weekend closures on several other rail lines in the coming year. A full list of disruptions has been posted at www.mbta.com/projects/building-better-t-2020.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Two Silver Line buses pass each other on the dedicated busway in Chelsea. Photo courtesy of the MBTA.

Everett, Somerville Advance Silver Line Extension Project

|
A grant application document submitted to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission requests $425,000 for the “planning and design of the MBTA Silver Line bus rapid transit service from its current terminus in Chelsea, through Everett, Sullivan Square, and Washington Street in Somerville, and terminating at appropriate MBTA Red Line and/or Green Line intermodal facilities.”