BOSTON, Mass. — Service was suddenly suspended Thursday night on a busy stretch of the Green and Orange lines, sending the evening commute into chaos. Those shutdowns remain in place Friday morning.
Structural concerns from deteriorated columns that support the Government Center Garage caused the disruption of service, according to the MBTA.
Shuttle buses will replace Green Line service between Government Center and Lechmere. The Orange Line is suspended between North Station and Back Bay.
Those driving and walking in the area may also be impacted, as Boston police have closed several streets in the area of the garage.
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“Many streets in the area will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic including portions of Congress Street, Surface Road, New Chardon Street and Sudbury Street,” according to a release issued by Boston police. “These street closures and detours will remain in effect until further notice.”
Crews installing temporary fences to block people from entering several Green/Orange stations after MBTA blames structural issue on Government Center Parking garage project. Developers of project claim their demolition didn’t cause problem #Boston25 AT 10/11 pic.twitter.com/QMIp0PBcyP— Drew Karedes (@DrewKaredes) June 24, 2022
When reached for comment, National Real Estate Advisors and the HYM Investment Group sent along the following statement regarding Thursday’s incident:
“This afternoon a team of engineers conducted a survey of the MBTA tunnels underneath the Government Center Garage. A subsurface column in proximity to the Green and Orange Lines was identified as compromised from years of water damage. The condition of this column is unrelated to the demolition work at the Government Center Garage. In an abundance of caution, the MBTA is diverting operations around the Haymarket MBTA Station.”— National Real Estate Advisors and the HYM Investment Group
The group is re-developing the former Government Center Garage as part of a project called “Bulfinch Crossing.”
“This service disruption as a result of HYM’s project is unacceptable and the MBTA will seek to hold HYM Construction accountable for all costs associated with this event,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said in a release. The release goes on to say that the MBTA expects service to be impacted for several days while engineers can examine the damage and make any needed repairs.
Orange Line and Green Line Notice: Until further notice, Orange Line service is suspended between North Station and Back Bay due to structural concerns from deteriorated columns that support the privately-owned Government Center Garage.— MBTA (@MBTA) June 24, 2022
Details: https://t.co/yCMnxgMeJx pic.twitter.com/tnhCCLc7js
Earlier this year, part of the garage collapsed and claimed the life of a worker.
It’s not clear when service on these lines will return to normal. Earlier this week, the MBTA pulled all new Red and Orange line trains after an out-of-service car experienced a battery failure in the Wellington Yard.
On Monday, new schedule changes have created longer wait times for passengers. Last week, the Federal Transit Administration published a scathing report on the lack of safety at the MBTA.
The FTA found the MBTA to be short-staffed to the point where the trains were not safe for riders.
The T says it has launched an all out hiring blitz, offering bonuses to hire more workers.
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