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MBTA to Perform Additional Track Replacement and Crosswalk Improvements along Green Line’s E branch

Posted on August 12, 2021

Enhanced Route 39 buses continue to provide alternate service and businesses remain open.


Today the MBTA announced that it will leverage ongoing E Branch accelerated construction to complete 600 additional feet of track renewal and crosswalk improvements from 78 South Huntington Avenue to Heath Street. 

“Replacing an additional 600 feet of track and upgrading accessibility at track crossings will reduce the risk of unplanned service disruptions and improve safety, reliability, and comfort for riders, bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “Doing this work on the E Branch now using a full shutdown means fewer disruptions in the future.”  

Over the course of the first week of the E Branch full access closure, the MBTA identified additional areas for improvement through track inspections on South Huntington Avenue as well as through community feedback regarding the condition of pedestrian crossings. By completing this work now, the MBTA will deliver improvements for riders, pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers along the E Branch corridor, and minimize future service disruptions and inconvenience.

Crews will conduct prep work and welding of rail strings from August 11 to August 13, 2021. They will then perform trackwork 24/7 from August 14 to August 21, 2021, followed by intermittent work through August 29, 2021, to excavate and replace track on South Huntington Avenue and Heath Street. 

This added scope of work will also include improvements at five crosswalks: one at Back of the Hill Station, a pair at the intersection of South Huntington Avenue and Heath Street, and a pair at the ends of the Heath Street Station platform. 

“The Green Line Transformation program takes a holistic approach to improving service for our riders,” said MBTA Chief of the Green Line Transformation (GLT) Angel Peña. “By leveraging planned access to complete this added scope, we will deliver more improvements sooner and with less overall disruption to our riders, neighbors, and local businesses. We encourage anyone with questions to reach out to us by sending an email to GLT@mbta.com or calling the GLT construction hotline at 617-222-4100. We will work as efficiently as possible to minimize the inconvenience of construction while we work to improve safety and reliability for years to come.” 

Traffic and Parking Impacts from August 11 to August 29

In order for crews to access the center lanes along South Huntington Avenue and Heath Street while maintaining one-way traffic in each direction, the following closures and traffic impacts are required 24/7 from August 14 through August 29, 2021:

  • Parking lanes and bike lanes along South Huntington Avenue northbound and southbound will be closed between 78 South Huntington Avenue and the Heath Street Station loop. Parking meters will be out of service. 
  • The Route 39 bus stops on each side of South Huntington Avenue at Back of the Hill Station will be relocated with a temporary crosswalk to the north side of Back of the Hill Station at 78 South Huntington Avenue.
  • Pedestrian access to sidewalks will be maintained throughout the work zone, but some crosswalks will be closed within the work zone. Pedestrians should use the temporary crosswalk near Back of the Hill station. GLT will work to ensure the two crosswalks at Heath Street Station just past the parking island (to cross Heath Street and South Huntington Avenue) are maintained during track reconstruction, then repaired after the track work is complete.
  • Drivers entering or exiting driveways along the work zone will only be permitted to turn right. 
  • Traffic on South Huntington Avenue traveling southbound/outbound that intend to turn around and travel northbound/inbound or access Heath Street will be detoured to the Heath Street Station loop.
  • Left turns from Heath Street (traveling northbound/inbound) will not be permitted onto South Huntington Avenue. 

GLT will work to provide police details to direct traffic throughout the work zone.

Alternate Green Line Service during Accelerated Work

From August 11 to August 29, 2021, E Branch service continues to be suspended between Brigham Circle and Heath Street Stations all day, every day. During this time, the Route 39 bus will be free for those boarding between Heath Street and Brigham Circle. More information on Green Line E branch service changes can be found at mbta.com.

The MBTA hosted a virtual public meeting on July 14, 2021, on the E Branch work. The meeting presentation and recording are posted at mbta.com. Information on the latest schedule of work locations can be found at www.mbta.com/GLintersections.

Minimizing Noise

As with all construction, some of this work will be noisy. The MBTA requires contractors to implement noise mitigation strategies to minimize noise disruptions to neighbors. Noise levels are monitored, and the MBTA responds to all noise complaints. A 24/7 noise hotline is available to report a noise issue at 617-222-4100.

More Information

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