The slow zones on the MBTA's Orange Line should soon be a thing of the past, the agency said Wednesday.
During the recent 30-day shutdown, one of the MBTA's goals was to get rid of six slow zones on the track - at Jackson Square and Stony Brook, State and Downtown Crossing, Tufts Medical Center and Back Bay, Community College and North Station, and two zones between Assembly and Wellington along Dana Bridge.
Though the shutdown ended last Monday, the slow zones were still in place. An MBTA spokesperson said typically slow zones are kept in place for about a week after construction as the new track and ballast settle when the trains run over them.
All of the slow zones south of North Station and north of Assembly Station have been eliminated. There are still temporary speed restrictions between Assembly and North stations while workers complete routine maintenance work. The MBTA intends to lift those restrictions in the coming days.
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During the Orange Line shutdown, crews completed what the MBTA estimated to be about five years worth of work under normal circumstances in 30 days. This work included overdue maintenance as well as track upgrade work.
The historic closure came as the T tackles a number of safety directives issued by the Federal Transit Administration following an inspection brought on by a series of safety incidents, some of which proved fatal. On Aug. 31, the FTA published a 90-page final report about problems at the T.
The federal intervention appears to have hastened safety improvements at the MBTA and prodded the Legislature and the Baker administration to suddenly fast-track hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to help turn around the struggling transit agency.
The MBTA has also begun work on three 9-day closures on the Green Line's D Branch, and is planning on another shorter closure on the Red Line to Braintree.