New Green Line Extension shut down for a month; Medford branch opening delayed

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BOSTON – Another T-line closure is approaching. The MBTA announced Friday that the newly opened Green Line Extension from Government Center to Union Square in Somerville will be replaced with temporary shuttle buses for 28 days between Aug. 22 and Sept. 18.

It was also announced that the planned opening of the Green Line Extension’s Medford site has been delayed from late summer to late November this year as more work is needed, including testing the power systems.

The news comes just days after the state issued a unprecedented closure of the entire Orange Line from August 19 to September 19 for upgrades and repairs, affecting more than 100,000 rides a day and worrying riders about the impact on their commute and school.

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The MBTA said the closure of the Green Line Extension, which was called “transformational” when it… open in March, is needed to continue work on a Government Center garage project and to facilitate work on the branch office in Medford. Structural problems during demolition Rijkscentrum Parking garage forced the suspension of MBTA train service in a tunnel under the garage.

“The temporary diversion of Union Branch drivers to shuttle buses will provide contractors with 24-hour access to the tracks and overhead wiring system, enabling them to safely and quickly complete the work deemed essential to the opening of the new Medford Branch,” it said. MBTA.

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Green Line riders traveling between Government Center and Union Square will board free shuttle buses, which stop at Lechmere Station and the bus loop of Lechmere Station.

Steve Poftak, MBTA chief executive, said one of the reasons for Medford’s setback was that funds had to be reallocated “as a result of our work on the FTA Special Guidance.” In June, the Federal Transit Administration directed the T to address staffing in the operational control center, improve safety protection at train yards, resolve delayed track maintenance and recertify MBTA employees.

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Poftak also said plans to close the Union branch were in the works before Orange Line’s announcement, and that the two “coincidentally overlapped”. He hopes the end result will be a better and faster experience for riders.

“If we could have announced this sooner, we probably should have done it. Obviously we don’t like to do this in the short term, but this is important work,” said Poftak. “I know it’s frustrating, but this is necessary work and we want to be able to reopen the service.”

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