MBTA Service Along Green, Orange Lines Impacted by Gov't Center Concerns

The MBTA is blaming this latest issue on the private construction project at the Government Center garage

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You will once again have to take the bus if your commute takes you through Government Center on the Green or Orange Lines.

What does that mean specifically?

How is Orange, Green Line service affected?

Green and Orange Line service at Haymarket is suspended due to structural issues at the Government Center garage above the station, the MBTA said. Service impacts will last until further notice.

Here's how to find out how to get where you need to go.

Orange Line service is suspended between Back Bay and North Station. For alternate downtown service, take the Green Line between Copley and Government Center.

View all Orange Line alerts here.

The MBTA says that structural issues at Government Center is forcing shuttle buses to replace subways on the Orange Line between North Station and Back Bay, as well as the Green Line from Government Center and Lechmere.

Green Line shuttles replace train service between Government Center and Lechmere. Shuttles will not stop at Haymarket.

The MBTA provided an update Friday afternoon saying shuttle buses will be extended temporarily to run between Union Square and Government Center to allow construction crews access to the tunnels under the Government Center garage to begin reinforcing support columns.

See all Green Line alerts here.https://www.mbta.com/schedules/Green/alerts

Source: MBTA

What happened?

The MBTA is blaming this latest issue on the private construction project at the Government Center garage, where a construction worker was killed back in March.

The project contractor, HYM Construction advised the MBTA on Thursday that the garage’s support columns that pass through the T’s tunnels are “severely deteriorated” near Haymarket Station, creating an unsafe environment in the tunnel area where Green and Orange Line trains operate.

"This service disruption as a result of HYM's project is unacceptable and the MBTA will seek to hold HYM Construction accountable for all costs associated with this event," Poftak said in a statement Thursday night. "Riders' safety is our top priority and unfortunately, as a result of this private party's project, we must divert trains until the tunnels can be inspected and cleared by independent experts."

But HYM said the issue is "unrelated" to its work on the Government Center garage.

"This afternoon a team of engineers conducted a survey of the MBTA tunnels underneath the Government Center Garage. A subsurface column in proximity to the Green and Orange Lines was identified as compromised from years of water damage," read a statement Thursday night from the National Real Estate Advisors and the HYM Investment Group. "The condition of this column is unrelated to the demolition work at the Government Center Garage. In an abundance of caution, the MBTA is diverting operations around the Haymarket MBTA Station."

MBTA officials said more than 100 tons of debris were removed from directly above the Green Line and structural engineers carefully assessed the tunnels to ensure their safety in the wake of the March collapse. Engineers were expected to continue to monitor the tunnel.

The demolition is all part of the $1.5 billion Bullfinch Redevelopment Project. The finished project is expected to include a parking garage surrounded by office and apartment buildings. The site has been under demolition for some time.

MBTA riders fed up

T riders are at the point where they’re getting fed up with the constant service disruptions.

“It’s unprofessional, like I don’t understand what’s going on, there’s no proper communication and we’re having to walk like hundreds of feet to get to where we need to be but nobody’s telling us any information, so yeah it’s upsetting, it’s really upsetting,” said Michelle Lopez, who uses the T.

“Train wreck, literally a train wreck,” added T rider Todd Newell.

Riders said there was a lot of confusion during Friday morning’s commute with the buses replacing Green Line service between Lechmere and Government Center.

“Dropped us off, didn’t say what was going on, didn’t tell us where to go, on some random side street, we didn’t even know Haymarket was closed. Half of us walked over there," said Maria Proto, who was trying to get to work.

Others were more understanding.

“We love the T. It’s reliable to a degree, but we can always make improvements. It’s just going to take time," said T rider Curtis Jackson.

Ongoing MBTA woes

The latest Government Center woes are just the latest in a series of issues that have plagued the MBTA in recent months.

Just last week, Federal Transit Administration demanded immediate changes to address glaring safety issues in a report released. Those issues included a pattern of crashes, derailments, speeding and signal issues.

The federal agency began investigating the MBTA in April after a recent death and several incidents that caused injuries. The directives issued by the FTA require the MBTA and the state Department of Public Utilities to collaborate on fixing the issues and improve the culture of safety at the MBTA.

The MBTA said it has been fully engaged with the FTA during its inspection and work is underway to address the issues that were flagged.

Massachusetts lawmakers announced last week that they are planning to hold hearings in July to discuss the report and learn more about the T's operations and management. The MBTA's board of directors also met Thursday to discuss the findings.

The T said it will not resume service in this area until a team of structural engineers can examine the infrastructure and make any needed repairs.

Get the latest MBTA service updates here.

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