Local News

MassDOT work will shutter Green Line’s Union Square branch for 42 days

The Union Square branch closure is one of several service changes Green Line riders will face this summer.

The MBTA's Union Square Station in Somerville. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff, File

After little more than a year in operation, the Union Square branch of the Green Line Extension will shut down for 42 days this summer, the MBTA announced Thursday. 

Service between Lechmere and Union Square stations will be suspended from July 18 through Aug. 28 while the Massachusetts Department of Transportation undertakes “critical” repairs on the Squires Bridge over the tracks near Union Square, the T said in a news release

The transit agency is encouraging riders to use the 86 and 91 bus routes to get to and from East Somerville Station for Green Line service on the Medford/Tufts branch. Riders can also take the 87 bus from Lechmere Station to the Union Square area.


MassDOT did not immediately respond to a Boston.com request for comment on the scope of the Squires Bridge work. Spokesperson Jacquelyn Goddard told The Boston Globe that the overhead power lines running underneath the bridge conflict with repair locations. Electricity on that portion of the Green Line will need to be turned off to give workers access to the beams, she told the Globe

News of the impending shutdown has already raised eyebrows among transit advocates and those in and around Somerville. 

State Rep. Mike Connolly, who represents Cambridge and Somerville, said in a statement posted to Twitter that he was “alarmed” by the announcement. 

“There is no doubt this bridge structure is in need of serious repair, due to its deteriorating steel beams, and the presence of electrified trolly [sic] equipment conflicts with this needed repair work,” he said. 

However, Connolly continued: “There needs to be better signage informing riders about what’s happening at Union Square station, and better communication generally.”

He said he’s spoken with MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng about the need for improved communication between the T and its riders, adding that he’s also brought his concerns about the Union Square branch shutdown to MBTA leadership. 


“I will continue pushing to ensure our constituents are provided with appropriate accommodations,” Connolly said. “The T is assuring everyone that the 86, 87, and 91 busses [sic] will have sufficient capacity to accommodate would-be Green Line riders. I do not automatically accept that assertion and will continue advocating for our community.”

The Union Square branch isn’t the only Green Line shutdown T riders will face this summer. 

Last week, the T announced that the B branch will shut down for 12 days in July while crews work on track repairs and replacement. Parts of the Green Line will also see suspended service during the weekend of July 15-16 while crews inspect the underground tunnel:

  • B branch: Service will be suspended between Boston University East and Haymarket. Shuttle buses will provide service between BU East and Back Bay Station on the Orange Line. 
  • C branch: Service will be suspended between Saint Mary’s Street and Haymarket. Shuttle buses will provide service between Saint Mary’s Street and Back Bay. 
  • D branch: Service will be suspended between Fenway and North Station. Shuttle buses will provide service between Brookline Hills and Back Bay.
  • E branch: Service will be suspended between Heath Street and North Station. The T is encouraging riders to use the 39 bus instead. 

The continued demolition of the Government Center Garage will also impact Green Line service between North Station and Government Center from July 29 through Aug. 9. The T is asking riders to walk above ground between stations instead.

The T’s July service changes come as Massachusetts transportation officials encourage travelers to leave their cars at home and turn to public transit amid the upcoming Sumner Tunnel closure.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com