Another significant diversion is planned five days after service resumes on the Orange Line, and riders should expect continued disruptions as the MBTA works to update its infrastructure to comply with federal directives.
The D Branch of the Green Line, from Riverside to Kenmore, will be closed for a total of 27 days, between Sept. 24 and Oct. 30, to allow for track upgrades and the implementation of train-collision prevention equipment.
Shuttle buses will replace Green Line service from Saturday, Sept. 2 to Sunday, Oct. 2; Oct. 8-16 and Oct. 22-30, according to the MBTA.
The diversion comes after overlapping monthlong shutdowns on the entire Orange Line and another part of the Green Line, from Union Square to Government Center stations. Service on both lines will resume on Monday morning.
“This diversion was planned months ago,” MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo said.
The upcoming work is part of the Green Line transformation project, which has already resulted in partial diversions on the B, C and E branches of the line during the spring and summer, according to the MBTA.
MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak told reporters Tuesday that T officials are talking about “a number of ideas” around other possible subway line closures, although there are no current plans for a complete shutdown, like what’s been seen on the Orange Line.
“One of the things that we’ll be doing more often is running, not diversions of this size, (but) running much more limited diversions,” Poftak said at Community College station.
“Once we feel that those ideas are fully developed, we’ll be sharing them, not only with the affected municipalities, but sharing them with the public as well,” he added.
What’s clear is that the MBTA needs a “significant level of investment,” Poftak said, referencing directives from the Federal Transit Administration, which ordered the T to provide additional time for track maintenance — work that had typically been limited to a few overnight hours.
To that end, Poftak said the T is launching a pilot program, aimed at allowing work crews earlier access to the track, at 10 to 11 p.m., for a week or weekend at a time. Alternate shuttle bus service will be provided during those stretches.
As for the Orange Line, work was 82% complete by Tuesday afternoon, and five of six targeted speed restrictions had been addressed.
Poftak said the restrictions will be removed five to seven days after service resumes, when inspectors determine it is safe to do so.
Overall, construction teams have replaced 65% of rail and 90% of track. Crews have completed all but 1 percent of special track work, which includes crossovers, and cologne egg replacement. Cologne eggs help limit vibrations on the track, according to MBTA officials.
Eighty-four percent of signal upgrades are complete at Oak Grove and Malden Center stations.
Work is expected to wrap up by the weekend, when attention will shift toward powering the system back up, Poftak said.
“There’s five days left to go,” he said. “We are in a great position to finish strong and to finish on time.”