MBTA caps massive capital spending fiscal year with accelerated construction on Green Line

Written by RT&S Staff
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Maryland officials have rejected a proposal to build a new rail tunnel underneath the city of Baltimore.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) announced that from Monday, Aug. 2, through Sunday, Aug. 29, crews will work around the clock to replace outdated track including ties, ballast, and rail as well as pavement on the Green Line E Branch between South Huntington Avenue and Brigham Circle Station.

The MBTA will provide replacement bus service during the Green Line Transformation (GLT) program’s accelerated 28 days of work scheduled for the 2021 Track and Intersection Upgrades Project. This accelerated approach was used in 2020 when GLT completed four weeks of full access improvements on the E Branch, primarily from Northeastern University to Brigham Circle. The MBTA worked with riders, residents, businesses, and elected officials to provide advance notice, safe crossing around the work areas, and free shuttles throughout the 28-day full access closure.

The MBTA has significantly increased its capital investments since the start of the Baker-Polito administration. In FY 2021, the MBTA has achieved its capital spending goal of $1.75 billion—which includes $1.3 billion for reliability and modernization investments alone—which is an 8.7% increase over capital spending during FY 2020. In addition, the MBTA has increased its annual capital program investments from approximately $768 million during FY 2015 to an expected $2 billion in spending for FY 2022.

“Following last summer’s acceleration, we’re returning to the E Branch this August to continue accelerated work on the Green Line,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “Performing this work during 28 consecutive days means delivering benefits to our Green Line riders much sooner than if the work was performed during evening and weekend diversions alone. When this accelerated work is complete, E Branch riders will experience increased reliability through newer infrastructure and faster travel times with lifted speed restrictions. Area bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians will see benefits, too, through upgraded and safer intersections and grade crossings.”

“Last August, the E Branch full-access closure enabled GLT to complete a year’s worth of work in 28 days. This year, a second full-access closure will result in the completion of critical work, saving time, limiting the duration of construction, and reducing resource costs. GLT continues to take a holistic approach to improvements for riders of the E Branch,” said MBTA Chief of Green Line Transformation Angel Peña. “GLT will provide weekly project updates and keep residents, businesses, and riders informed as we work to deliver improved service along Huntington Avenue. We appreciate that construction causes disruption and are working as quickly and safely as we can to amplify the results of the acceleration, as we did in 2020.”

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