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Weekend Red Line service to resume March 10 north of Harvard Sq.

Posted by Brock Parker  February 27, 2012 02:04 PM

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There is some light at the end of the tunnel for weekend commuters who use the Porter Square, Davis Square and Alewife T stops.

An $80 million repair project that has forced the closure of the T stops on most weekends since the beginning of November is expected to wrap up this Sunday, March 4.

The project is finishing on time and on budget, said MBTA Spokesman Joe Pesaturo in an email today. Weekend train service will resume at the T stops beginning March 10, he said.

“This weekend will be the last weekend that buses replace service between Cambridge and Somerville,” he said.

The project tackled repairs needed to prevent derailments along a specialized track in the tunnel between the Harvard and Alewife stops. The portion of the Red Line track opened in 1985, and uses concrete slabs resting on absorbent rubber disks to cushion noise and vibration for above-ground neighbors. Leaks along the tunnel had caused some corrosion along the track that posed a risk of rail movement and train derailment. Leaks were also sealed as part of the project.

Michael Turcotte, the MBTA’s assistant general manager of engineering and maintenance, said that this weekend crews will finish the project with the final concrete pourings, and new rail installations.

Turcotte said much of the reason the weekend shutdowns were needed along the stretch of the Red Line was because workers needed time to pour concrete and give it time to cure before train service could resume.

The Porter, Davis and Alewife stations have about 21,000 passenger boardings on a typical Saturday, and about 14,000 boardings on Sundays. Buses replaced the train service most weekends throughout the four-month project, but trains did run on Christmas and New Year’s weekend.

Pesaturo said the MBTA “greatly appreciated” the patience and understanding of its customers during the project.

Photos of the work along the stretch of the Red Line over the weekend can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mbtaphotos/6789358352/in/photostream/.

--brock.globe@gmail.com

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