The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has completed the 12-day full-access closure that will deliver critical safety and reliability upgrades to the Green Line’s B Branch. During the closure, crews completed full-depth track replacement at Blandford Street, Packard’s Corner and between Harvard Avenue and Griggs Street Stations, amounting to 2,800 feet of new track across the branch.
“I’m proud that we were able to complete this vital work along the B Branch,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “Although there’s much more work to be done across our system, being able to get in, get it done and get out is a testament to the dedication of our team here at the MBTA. I thank the public for their patience as we continue restoring the system to deliver reliable and safe service for the public.”
In addition to the full-depth track work, during the 12 days, crews replaced duct banks, wooden ties, the Lake Street Carhouse roof, two pedestrian crossings and special track work. Due to the complexity of the work, a full-access closure was necessary for the efforts to be completed as safely and efficiently as possible.
“Thank you to our B Branch riders and neighbors for your patience and understanding during this full-access closure. We understand how projects like this can negatively impact neighbors’ quality of life, which is why we always focus on minimizing disruptions,” said MBTA Chief of Capital Transformation Angel Peña. “While this summer’s work on the B Branch has come to a close, there is still work to be done on the branch and across the Green Line to improve safety and reliability for our riders. We as a team are excited to continue looking for ways to improve service for passengers across the system at a safe yet accelerated rate.”
During the closure, shuttle buses replaced service from Kenmore to Boston College Stations. With support and coordination efforts from the Boston Transportation Department, the Boston University Police Department and the Boston Police Department, traffic diversions were maintained and executed, creating a safe and successful closure within the area.
The full-access closure builds on the previous work done by the MBTA’s Green Line Transformation (GLT) team since its inception in 2018. Since then, the GLT team has completed full-depth track replacement on more than 35,000 feet of the 45,090 feet encompassing the B Branch. Across all surface branches of Green Line, GLT has performed more than 119,800 feet of full-depth track replacement on the 202,066 feet of track on the B, C, D and E branches.
The GLT team will continue making improvements to infrastructure on the B Branch and across the Green Line. The remaining areas to be addressed on the B Branch require complex and special track work, which requires custom fabrication that often has long lead times. The area between Blandford Street and BU East Stations and Chestnut Hill Avenue Stations has outdated special track work that must be reengineered to meet modern standards. The track between Allston Street and Warren Street requires specialty curved track that must be custom bent and restrained with an additional double rail structure to meet modern standards.
Another reason work must be done over multiple outages is due to traffic limits on Commonwealth Avenue. Due to high traffic levels and added traffic when a bus diversion is in place, construction areas must be limited to ensure enough lanes are open to accommodate traffic volume.