Trains on the Green Line's E Branch in Mission Hill and Longwood are running again after the MBTA completed an accelerated program of track replacements and station repairs over the course of August.
The 28-day closure on the E branch allowed workers to replace three miles' worth of track in a compressed construction timeline: the T estimates that if the same work had been done piecemeal during weekend and nighttime closures, it could have taken a full year to get finished.
The compressed timeline also allowed the MBTA to showcase the work in a time-lapse video:
“While ridership has been reduced during the pandemic, the MBTA has had a busy spring and summer making accessibility, infrastructure, customer experience, and safety improvements," said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak at a press event celebrating the project's completion on Tuesday. "This work follows additional expedited work on the C Branch during a twenty-eight-day shutdown in July and a nine-day shutdown in June, two nine-day shutdowns on the D Branch in June, a fourteen-day shutdown on the Red Line in June, and a fourteen-day shutdown on the Blue Line in May."
On a less upbeat note, the completion of work on the E Branch also means that cars and trucks are free to block Green Line trains again on the kilometer-long section of Huntington Ave. between Brigham Circle and Heath Street, where tracks are still not separated from car traffic in the street's middle lanes (that mixed-traffic, middle-of-the-road design also prevents the four stations on that section from being ADA-accessible, since there are no platforms).
We've put an inquiry to the MBTA and the City of Boston to ask whether this transit-heavy street is under consideration for bus- and train-only lanes – we'll let you know what we find out.