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MBTA apologizes for signs with incorrect Orange Line shutdown dates

The line is actually set to shut down from Aug. 19 to Sept. 19, with shuttle bus service replacing the subway.

Signs at the North Station Orange line entrance were removed Thursday after riders noticed an error about the dates. The T apologized about the signage. David L. Ryan/Boston Globe

As the MBTA prepares for a month-long shutdown of the Orange Line, confusion briefly spread among commuters Thursday over the exact dates that the line will be closed. 

Signs at multiple stations incorrectly stated that there would be no Orange Line service from Aug. 22 through Sept. 18. In fact, the shutdown begins at 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19. It is scheduled to be closed until Monday, Sept. 19. 

Tom Ryan, senior advisor on government affairs at A Better City, was one of the people to spot the incorrect signs. Just after 10 a.m. Thursday, he posted a photo on Twitter of a sign with the wrong dates outside the North Station entrance. 

Another Twitter user responded, including a photo of the same error at Haymarket Station. An incorrect sign was also set up at the Community College Station, according to NBC Boston

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The official MBTA account responded a few minutes later to Ryan, writing that the agency’s “Signs Team” will address the problem.

“The MBTA apologizes for the error. Some A-Frame signs are being replaced,” MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo said in a statement Thursday evening. 

Although the signs posted incorrect dates, the QR code on them did link to a webpage with the correct information, according to NBC. 

The Green Line is set to be replaced with shuttle bus service between the Government Center and Union Square stations from Aug. 22 to Sept. 18, which are the dates incorrectly posted regarding the Orange Line shutdown. 

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu was asked about the signage mix-up on Thursday.

“This is why we need all of your help in getting the word out,” she told a group of reporters. 

The Orange Line shutdown is a major move by the MBTA that will surely cause headaches in the short term, but hopefully lasting improvements in the long run. It was announced earlier this month, with officials saying that the lengthy closure was necessary to replace track, upgrade signals, and fully integrate new Orange Line trains. 

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Specifically, more than 3,500 feet of 38-year-old track will be replaced. The shutdown will let workers complete projects that would have taken as many as five years to finish with smaller, periodic shutdowns, MBTA officials said earlier this month. 

While this work will theoretically improve safety and speed for subway commuters in the future, drivers now must brace for a month of heavy traffic

MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said that the shutdown will have “substantial regional travel impacts” at a press conference this week. “It is evident that significant congestion will be felt throughout the region,” he added. 

Some roadways will have their capacity cut in half to accommodate all the extra shuttle buses replacing subway service, Gulliver said. Bikers and pedestrians should also exhibit more caution, since the shuttle buses being used have larger blind spots and different turning radii than normal MBTA buses. 

Extensive information about the changes happening to the MBTA in the near future can be found at MBTA.com/BBT2022

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