On Friday, the MBTA pushed back the opening date for the new Medford branch of the Green Line to "late November," and also announced that it will also shut down all Green Line stations north of Government Center - including the new Union Square and Lechmere stations - for a month beginning on August 22, during the agency's closure of the entire Orange Line.
In a press release issued on Friday morning, the T announced that it would close the northern end of the Green Line so that work crews can "perform final-phase construction work" on the new extension, and so that private construction firms could complete the demolition of the Government Center parking garage over the Haymarket subway tunnels.
The T will provide shuttle buses to serve stops between Government Center and Union Square for the duration of the closure.
As part of its Orange Line closure contingency plans, the T is encouraging riders in Malden and Melrose to use the Haverhill Line commuter rail to get into Boston from Oak Grove and Malden Center. But the closure of the North Station Green Line stop means that users of the Haverhill Line and the rest of the north side commuter rail network will have no subway connections when they arrive in Boston (before the pandemic, North Station saw over 18,000 daily boardings on commuter rail trains).
The T had previously targeted a "late summer" opening for the new Medford Branch of the Green Line, which will include stations in East Somerville, Gilman Square, Magoun Square, Ball Square, and at Tufts University.
In its press release, the T cited "necessary additional work and re-testing of the Medford Branch’s power systems" and limited availability of safety and operational support staff who had been reassigned to support "other critical MBTA construction work, including in the MBTA’s response to the Federal Transit Administration’s Safety Management Inspection directives" as the chief reasons for delaying the opening date to November.