Building a Better T: Baker-Polito Administration, Transportation Officials Celebrate Successful Completion of Accelerated Green Line C and E Branch Work
Posted on September 1, 2020
Today Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak, and others celebrated the successful completion of accelerated work on the Green Line C and E Branches this summer with a tour of completed work at Museum of Fine Arts Station.
With the goal of expediting safety and reliability improvements through core infrastructure investments as part of the MBTA’s $8 billion Building a Better T program, the MBTA accelerated essential track and intersection work on the entirety of the Green Line C Branch during a 28-day shutdown in service in July and on the entirety of the E Branch during a 28-day shutdown in service in August. During this accelerated work, Green Line trolley service on these branches was replaced with alternate services that included bus shuttles.
“Each month-long Green Line diversion this summer enabled 1 full year’s worth of work to be completed in just a few weeks, and these improvements will result in faster and more reliable service for riders,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By allowing crews longer periods of 24/7 access, the T is able to complete important upgrades more quickly and save money along the way.”
“The Green Line C Branch and Green Line E Branch capital improvement projects demonstrate the MBTA’s commitment to being aggressive about capital projects that are vital to improving safety and service,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Despite the public health challenges in recent months due to the coronavirus, the MBTA is delivering on previously announced projects which improve the core infrastructure, replacing or repairing track, signals, power, and other assets.”
“Doing this accelerated E Branch work over 28 days last August saved us a year’s worth of weekend and evening diversions, and we exceeded our track replacement goals by replacing over 3 miles of E Branch track, allowing us to provide a safer, more reliable trip for riders,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “While ridership has been reduced during the pandemic, the MBTA has had a busy spring and summer making accessibility, infrastructure, customer experience, and safety improvements. This work follows additional expedited work on the C Branch during a 28-day shutdown in July and a 9-day shutdown in June, 2 9-day shutdowns on the D Branch in June, a 14-day shutdown on the Red Line in June, and a 14-day shutdown on the Blue Line in May. I want to express my appreciation to the T’s Capital Delivery and Green Line Transformation teams for their hard work these past few months, and to our riders for their continued patience while we accomplished this important work.”
More Information about The Work
The suspensions in Green Line C and E Branch service was part of both the MBTA’s $8 billion Building a Better T program and the MBTA’s Green Line Transformation program. Though this work was previously announced and planned during the summer when ridership is historically lower, doing this work also allowed its completion at a time when ridership on the Green Line was significantly decreased due to the pandemic. Completion of this work on both branches results in improved safety and reliability, fewer unplanned service disruptions, and improved travel times for riders.
These nearly month-long closures on the C and E Branches were equivalent to about 1 full year of weekend and night closures on each branch. During these diversions in service, work crews accomplished the following:
- Allowed for a more reliable trip and the removal of longstanding speed restrictions through the replacement of 2.5 miles (about 13,200 feet) of track on the C Branch and over 3 miles (about 17,000 feet) of track on the E Branch (exceeding the project’s goal of about 14,300 feet) that, in some areas, was over 30 years old and had reached the end of its service life;
- Allowed for improvements to safety, accessibility, and the rider experience through the replacement of 7 road crossings and 4 individual pedestrian track crossings on the C Branch and the restoration of 6 road crossings and 5 individual pedestrian track crossings on the E Branch, including the replacement of uneven pavement and the installation of accessible ramps where needed; and
- Performed additional customer improvements that included upgrades to system maps, walkways, station brightening, and yellow tactile edging at C and E Branch Stations.
Information on Previous Accelerated Work in 2020
The MBTA continues to assess whether other projects can be further accelerated. Previous and current accelerated work in 2020 includes:
- Track work, harbor tunnel repairs, and additional infrastructure improvements during a 14-day shutdown of the Blue Line from Bowdoin to Airport in May 2020;
- Tie replacement work, concrete repairs, Quincy Adams elevator work, track replacement, and bridge inspection work during a 14-day shutdown of the Red Line from Braintree to Quincy Center in June 2020;
- Track and signal replacement work during 2 9-day shutdowns of the Green Line D Branch from Kenmore to Riverside in June 2020;
- Infrastructure work in the area known as the Beacon Junction during a 9-day shutdown of the C Branch from Kenmore to St. Mary’s in June 2020.