MBTA Closes Downtown Segments of Orange, Green Lines
UPDATE: The MBTA announced on Sunday evening that the Haymarket subway tunnels have reopened and Orange and Green line service has resumed. “The Government Center Garage developer has installed the necessary supports to uphold the structure. Based on comprehensive inspections of the repair work, structural engineers and safety experts have deemed the structures and the surrounding infrastructure to be structurally sound,” according to an MBTA press release.
The MBTA abruptly shut down several downtown stops on its Orange and Green Lines Thursday evening after construction workers discovered “severely deteriorated” support columns in the Haymarket station subway tunnels.
To keep trains and passengers away from those columns, effective immediately, the Orange Line will be split in two parts, with trains running between Forest Hills and Back Bay on the south, and between North Station and Oak Grove in the north.
There will be no shuttle service to bridge the five closed Orange Line stations in downtown Boston; instead the T is asking Orange Line passengers to transfer to the Green Line at Back Bay/Copley, or to the Green Line shuttle buses at North Station.
The Green Line will also be truncated, with most trains terminating at Government Center. Shuttle buses will run between Government Center and Lechmere, and a two-stop shuttle will run between Lechmere and Union Square.
The hazardous support columns in the Haymarket tunnels are reportedly holding up the Government Center Garage (pictured above), which is in the process of being demolished.
That demolition also caused a days-long closure of the Green and Orange lines in late March, when part of the garage suddenly collapsed on top of the same subway tunnels in an incident that also killed Peter Monsini, a 51-year-old demolition worker.
The MBTA is blaming HYM Constructors, the lead contractors on the garage project, for the latest closure.
“This service disruption as a result of HYM’s project is unacceptable and the MBTA will seek to hold HYM Construction accountable for all costs associated with this event,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak in an MBTA press release on Thursday evening. “Riders’ safety is our top priority and unfortunately, as a result of this private party’s project, we must divert trains until the tunnels can be inspected and cleared by independent experts.”
The T says that the inspection and repair process “could last several days.”