When Gov. Charlie Baker and state transportation officials announced in June that the MBTA would work more quickly through repairs and upgrades after a Red Line train derailed, they apparently meant it.
But with that comes a slew of newly planned weekend station closures on the Green, Orange, Red lines, in addition to the ones that had already been announced, some of which are planned for as early as next month. Alternative service, such as shuttle buses, will replace trains at the stations to accommodate passengers.
“We know that diversions in service are an inconvenience in the short term, but these shutdowns will allow us to quicken the pace of investments in the system more efficiently and effectively,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said in a news release from the T. “We’ve heard loud and clear that we need to accelerate the pace of improvements. This is an especially important opportunity for the MBTA to replace track in areas that aren’t accessible to work crews without these shutdowns.”
The closures won’t end in 2019. The T is considering more for the coming 2020 construction season, the release said.
Here’s a look at the closures, and planned work, for each line during what are being called “accelerated projects”:
Green Line – B, C, and D lines
The B and C branches were planned to have track replaced at 30 intersections. Under the new accelerated timeline, the project will be finished five months earlier, in December instead of May 2020, the release says. In addition, workers will also replace 7,000 feet of track.
“About 60 percent of the Green Line track in these areas is over thirty years old and, while safe to travel over, is ready to be replaced,” the release says.
It further notes that the improvements will help with the line’s overall reliability, plus trains will not have to go slowly over portions of the track due to age.
The two branches will now have 14 weekend closures instead of 10.
New B Line closures: Sept. 7-8, Nov. 2-3, and Nov. 23-24
New C Line closure: Oct. 26-27
Existing D Line closures: Sept. 14-15, Sept. 21-22, Sept. 28-29, Oct. 5-6, Oct. 12-13, Oct. 26-27, Nov. 2-3, Nov. 9-10, Nov. 16-17, Nov. 23-24, Dec. 7-8, Dec. 14-15, Dec. 21-22, and Dec. 28-29
Orange Line – Haymarket, State, and Downtown Crossing
The trio of stations are set to get a fresh coat of paint and new signs, the release says. Plus, workers will clean them, and fix stairs and tiles. The T is also now planning to replace 2,250 feet of track, as well as paint and clean Chinatown Station. Crews are set to replace the pit tracks at each of the stations, which can’t happen while the trains are in service. The track is 30 to 40 years old, according to the release. Debris will also be removed from tunnels, along with other maintenance work.
Closing down a stretch of the line on six weekends cuts the project down by 11 months, the release says.
Six new closures between Tufts and Sullivan Square: Oct. 5-6, Oct. 12-13, Oct. 19-20, Oct. 26-27, Nov. 2-3, and Nov. 9-10
Red Line – Park Street and Downtown Crossing
At Park Street, work crews are planning to add 1,250 new lights, plus clean and paint the station, and repair any tile or stair issues. Signage is planned to be replaced, too, the release says. Instead of finishing in April 2020, crews will be done by December 2019 due to four new weekend closures between Kendall/MIT and Broadway stations.
Downtown Crossing will receive similar treatment to Park Street, but crews will also replace 900 feet of track, plus repair platform edges as well as perform maintenance on escalators, elevators, and fare-collecting machines. The closures help to cut the project down by 11 months with completion planned for December instead of November 2020, according to the release.
New closures: Nov. 16-17, Nov. 23-24, Dec. 7-8, and Dec. 14-15