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MBTA Outages for 2020 Include 2 Monthlong Green Line Branch Closures

The MBTA said work was scheduled for the Orange, Red, Blue, Silver and Green Lines as well as the Franklin Line of Commuter Rail

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Two branches of the MBTA Green Line will be shut down for a month each this summer, part of a major 2020 infrastructure acceleration plan announced by the transit agency and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker Thursday.

The plan, touted by the MBTA as accelerating projects by eight years, marks the first time the agency will close entire services for weekdays. It will also bring eleven weekend outages to parts of the Red Line, seven to the Orange Line and 19 to the Blue Line.

The Franklin Commuter Rail line and Silver Line will see weekend diversions as well.

"After decades of neglect, we're busy investing over $8 billion to upgrade, modernize and increase capacity on the system," Baker said.

See the full list of disruptions released by the MBTA at the bottom of this story.

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Baker and the MBTA said disruption will be minimized for riders, citing the similar diversion work that was done in 2019, which the MBTA says sped up work on the Red, Orange and Green lines by more than two years.

"We heard our riders in 2019: build a better T and do it faster," MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said.

The work will replace 29 miles of track across the system and rebuild 11 intersections.

Green Line rider Samantha Miller said she isn't sure how she'll get to work during the shutdown.

"It's already a struggle as it it is, with delays," Miller said,

But other riders, like Greg Shea, said the short-term inconvenience is worth it, if it helps make the system better. Shea said the improvements are "way overdue," adding, "just do it."

To make it easier for MBTA riders to keep up with closures, the MBTA created a website and map that shows outlines the work being done. See it here.

Which T, Commuter Rail Lines Will Be Shut Down When in 2020 (as released by the MBTA):

On the Green Line:

  • C Branch: A 28-day closure in service for the entire street-level branch (Kenmore to Cleveland Circle) replaced with accessible shuttle buses from the beginning of July to the beginning of August to allow for the replacement of track and upgrading intersections.
  • E Branch: A 28-day closure in service for the entire street-level branch (Prudential to Heath Street) replaced with accessible shuttle buses as well as enhanced Route 39 bus service (which operates alongside the E branch on Huntington Avenue) during the month of August to replace track and upgrade intersections.
  • GLX/GLT: Green Line Extension and Green Line Transformation work is also taking place for both construction of the new Lechmere Station and work on the Lechmere Viaduct with accessible shuttle buses replacing service between Lechmere and North Stations from May 2020 through April 2021.
  • B Branch: Three weekend diversions in June from Boston College to Babcock Street to replace track and upgrade intersections.
  • D Branch: Evening and weekend diversions throughout the entirety of 2020 for track and signal improvements as well as work on the Fenway Portal Project.
  • Work among all branches will result in 10.8 miles of track replaced (24 percent of the Green Line) and fourteen intersections upgraded (26 percent of the Green Line) with work completed over two years (760 days) faster than previously planned.

On the Red Line:

  • Eleven weekend diversions in which shuttle buses replace trains between Alewife and Harvard began in January and continue through April to repair 32,000 feet of track (6 miles, including concrete track foundations) and tunnel leak mitigation work.
  • South Shore Garage work on the Braintree and Quincy Adams Garages is accelerating with the goal to fully offset impacted parking spaces during construction. Four hundred parking spots will be returned to full use fourteen months early.
  • This work will be completed over a year (490 days) sooner than previously scheduled.

On the Orange Line:

  • Seven diversions (with the project continuing through 2021) in which shuttle buses replace trains between Oak Grove and Sullivan from October to December to replace 18,400 feet of track (3.5 miles) and associated systems at Wellington yard, modernize three escalators, and upgrade traction power substations (which are 40+ years old).
  • This work will be completed 180 days faster than previously planned.

On the Blue Line:

  • Extended early access and nineteen weekend diversions between Bowdoin and Airport from May through October to replace up to 2,500 feet of track (0.5 mile), repair isolated cracked rail within tunnel areas, open tunnel niches to build new truck pads, perform tunnel leak repairs, remove inactive cables and ducts, and perform tunnel weather-proofing work.
  • This work will be completed over two years (760 days) faster than previously scheduled.

On the Commuter Rail:

  • Franklin Line: Extended early access and weekend diversions in which shuttle buses replace trains between Forge Park and South Station as well as diversions to local transit services at the Franklin Street crossover.
  • The acquisition of eighty bi-level coaches is being accelerated to improve reliability and capacity, replacing the oldest passenger coaches in the fleet.
  • This work will be completed over 180 days faster than previously planned.

On the Silver Line and Systemwide:

  • Silver Line: Extended early access and eight weekend diversions in which Silver Line buses will run at the street-level to waterproof compartments at Courthouse Station and East tunnels to reduce future leaking and enhance station conditions.
  • Repairs are also being made to parking lots systemwide at multiple parking facilities.
  • This work will be completed over an entire year (480 days) faster than previously planned.

This breaking news article will be updated.

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