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MBTA Infrastructure Improvements kick into high gear

Posted on August 3, 2017

BOSTON - As the work to replace the Beverly Drawbridge is about to finish on schedule with weekday train service resuming on August 14, interim MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak this weekend will visit several job sites where crews continue infrastructure improvement work throughout the transit system. To accommodate this critical work, five separate bus shuttles will replace rail service for various reasons, including the replacement of a 120-year old railroad drawbridge in Beverly, the installation of federally mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) infrastructure along the Newburyport/Rockport and Lowell Commuter Rail Lines, necessary core infrastructure capital project work on the Orange Line, and work being performed as part of MassDOT's Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Project.

"The MBTA increased capital spending on system-wide upgrades and repairs last fiscal year by about 40 percent, to $702 million-and we'll spend even more this fiscal year with totals approaching $800 million," said GM Poftak. "We're fully committed to our goal of increased investments in our system's existing infrastructure by putting funds toward maintenance and repairs, resulting in better service for our customers."

GM Poftak will visit the site of the Beverly Drawbridge Replacement Project, which is on schedule and nearing completion. A 28-day shutdown of all Newburyport/Rockport Line service north of Salem was required in order to replace the swing-span bridge in Beverly and conduct follow-up alignment and testing work, which will result in more reliable Newburyport/Rockport Line service. Due to this service shutdown, the MBTA began accommodating its customers on July 17 with replacement shuttle bus service to all stations with regular weekday train service resuming as planned and advertised on Monday, August 14. More information on this project can be found at

GM Poftak will also visit sites of federally mandated PTC work currently taking place on weekends along the Newburyport/Rockport Line. PTC is a safety system that prevents train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, and human error. This work has replaced weekend Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail service with shuttle buses beginning July 8 through September 30 and will begin replacing all Lowell Commuter Rail Line service along the entire line beginning August 5 through October 1. More information on these projects can be found at

Finally, GM Poftak will visit sites along the Orange Line, where track work will be taking place. With core infrastructure work a continued priority, necessary track maintenance will take place along the northern section of the Orange Line. As a result, the MBTA will replace Orange Line service with shuttle buses in both directions from Wellington to Oak Grove Stations on August 5 and 6. More Orange Line service information can be found on

Additional shuttle bus replacement service is occurring on the Green Line B branch and Framingham/Worcester Line due to the MassDOT Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Project. Currently underway, this project uses Accelerated Bridge Construction techniques to replace the existing concrete deck and steel beams that carry Commonwealth Avenue and the Green Line B branch over I-90 and the MBTA Commuter Rail tracks. As a result, the MBTA began accommodating its Green Line B branch customers with shuttle bus service that replaced trolleys between Blandford and Babcock Streets, beginning July 26 and continuing through August 13. More Green Line service information can be found on

Weekend Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail Line service was also suspended from South Station to Boston Landing Station last weekend and will continue again on August 5 and 6. Framingham/Worcester Line customers will be accommodated with shuttle buses operating between Boston Landing Station and Reservoir Station on the Green Line D branch. Special shuttles will also operate to Yawkey from Boston Landing for Red Sox games on August 5 and 6. More Framingham/Worcester service information can be found on

The MBTA is pleased to be able to provide supplemental shuttle bus service for its customers while these necessary projects take place this weekend, appreciates its customers' understanding during these service changes, and extends its gratitude to operations and planning staff for their continued successful work in these endeavors.


New Beverly Drawbridge swing-span and infrastructure.


New Beverly Drawbridge swing-span and infrastructure.


Crews performing ongoing work on the new Beverly Drawbridge.

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