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No Orange Line, Green Line or bus service through Haymarket for several days due to partial collapse of garage above it; developers halt all work after worker dies

The MBTA announced today it's not going to be running any trains or buses under the partially collapsed Government Center Garage - which sits atop Haymarket station, "until a team of structural engineers, examining and assessing infrastructure above and below the surface, confirms that subway service can safely resume."

Specifically, this means no Orange Line service between North Station and Back Bay and no Green Line service between North Station and Government Center. The T adds that the 92, 93 and 111 buses will be diverted to North Station, but cautions they could be delayed due to possible gridlock caused by the need to keep the streets around what's left of the garage closed off.

The T says it will run shuttle buses between North Station and Government Center, but really, "the MBTA also encourages commuters directly impacted by the tunnel closures to consider working from home while diversions are in place, if they are able to do so."

One worker died yesterday when the floor he was jackhammering to help demolish the garage for its replacement with a skyscraper collapsed and fell nine stories to the ground.

The HYM Investment Group, formerly headquartered in the garage building, and National Real Estate Advisors, which were working to create a new Bulfinch Complex residential and office complex at the site, issued a statement:

We are heartbroken and devastated by the news of the tragic accident occurring at Boston's Government Center parking garage yesterday evening. Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the worker who died in this tragedy. We would like to thank the Boston Fire Department, Boston Police Department, EMS and all emergency response teams for their swift response, and we are working closely with investigators as they actively review the incident. The safety of the women and men that work on our developments is our greatest priority and we have shut down all aspects of the demolition of the garage and will not resume work until we are satisfied it is safe to do so.

Neighborhoods: 

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Comments

Im sure I missed the post yesterday about the accident but..

First off awful. Poor worker and their family. :(

And now I feel bad

But does anyone know multiple ways to cook crow? in mass quantities? Cuz of my previous comments, I'll be eating a lot of it.

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Voting closed 42

Check the Harrow's website - download the chicken pot pie recipe as a doc, run a search: find "chicken", replace with "crow".
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Also, if you have sixpence and a pocket full of rye (and a nursery rhyme collection), you can make blackbird pie.

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Voting closed 31

Why can't they run it as far as Downtown Crossing or State?

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I have a feeling that the loop at Back Bay simply makes the navigation for a turnaround trip and lining up of several buses much easier, but maybe not. Ask the MBTA.

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I'm not sure but I suspect there may not be crossovers underground for trains to switch tracks and go back the other way. That would mean single-track operation between Tufts and State, and I can think of a bunch of reasons that wouldn't be workable.

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I wonder this as well. Why cut out a giant chuck of the downtown stations out of it simply cause one station is closed

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There are no crossovers (other than a one way one at chargers Chinatown), so can't turn turn trains around past back bay.

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No crossover between BB and NS. Need the cross over so the trains can be turned back.

Chinatown might be possible but its a 1 way cross over (NB -> SB) but I think its not used anymore.

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You need a crossover to run service in two directions and there are none in downtown (mainly because the tracks in each direction are at different elevations through Chinatown/DTX/State). They tried running the trains on one track during the diversion in February, but that means you can only have one train at a time in-between back bay and state and it ends up slowing down the entire rest of the line as trains wait for the train in front to go down to state then reverse back to back bay.

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Nothing on their website says otherwise.

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JFC - We have a death, a possible mess up of a lot of public infrastructure and we get posts about the opening status of J. Bildner and Son's II and why can't the T do things the way they want them too.

Unreal.

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while the death of a person is sad 100s of people die every day for a variety of reasons and those unconnected continue on. I feel sad for the death, but at the same time my MAIN concern is my commute and other things in the area. So Yes, things do keep moving.

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… one of the very few places open during the winter where participants in HIP can sell and buy local produce.
But nice cheap bombastic way to try to make yourself look like you actually care about the person who died this horrible death or care about anyone but yourself. Have a cookie.

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This particular UHub story is mostly about the impacts on the immediate area as a result of this horrible accident. Something in the immediate area either being closed as a result, or remaining open seems to me to be relevant in the comments on this story. I might have found your response more agreeable had the original comment been posted on the initial story about the accident, but it wasn't.

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I assume there's at least a theoretical possibility that the authorities may order the rest of the building taken down more directly than the (up until now) incremental approach?

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Do you mean an implosion?

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I thought you said explosion!

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the structural assessment of the remainder of the parking garage.

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If you're suggesting implosion, there's no chance.

If this small part hitting the ground may have compromised the tunnels, imagine what the risk would be if the entire structure came down at once.

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Yeah, he didn't think that one through

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and does it really involve jackhammering the floors?

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Okay, this is (relatively) simple:

You need to remove a pre-built concrete structure, one section at a time. Implosion is contraindicated because of existing underground infrastructure.

Assuming the structure is stable, you start removing one layer at a time, in sections, from the top.

To remove the concrete layer, you'll need to punch holes in the corners and sides to put your chains through, then break it at the join to the next section, and lift it out with the crane.

The bobcat operator had a jackhammer attachment, and was punching holes in the front (greenway) side of the plate. He'd have moved to the sides and back and then his colleagues would have chained the plate and vacated before another round of jackhammering at the join (while sitting safely in the next section). I'm sure there are more steps than this, but I've seen it done with smaller, crumbling parking structures, and this is how you do it.

If the building isn't stable (and this is a pretty strong indicator that it's not), I have no idea how they're going to remove the floors one at a time. If the stress of punching a hole in concrete causes a tower section to collapse, that bodes ill for the subway tunnels and other infrastructure (sewer, water, underground cabling, etc.).

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I suppose if they now have to keep the trains from running until the structure is fully removed, then they could authorize the demolition to continue 24/7 until complete, which would speed it up. But if there was some faster way to get this building down outside of circumstances that would not normally be permitted, they would have done it. No one is going to be dragging their feet to get a project finished right now when there is no shortage of future construction just waiting to be built.

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No, I was not suggesting implosion. That seems unlikely for such a massive structure in crowded area with so much infrastructure.
I was thinking more along the lines of concerns about structure meaning they go ahead with dismantling similar to previously but expedited schedule, 24/7 closures around site until it's done (or at least down to a safer level), not just weekends.

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Jesus. Last week I started walking underneath the temporary scaffold tunnel for pedestrians right next to it and looked at the crumbling garage around me and immediately said to myself, "Nope!" Stepped right back and walked through the Greenway to get to State. That whole area isn't safe for pedestrians. You gotta be brave to be a construction/demolition worker. Heart aches for his family.

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And say another prayer that you bosses understand that getting to work by the T will take hours.

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With maintenance on the blue and now issues with the green and orange, Red will be the only line passing through downtown this week. That means the T will be running a lot of busses. And no one will move quickly through the city.

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That might be the smart decision right now.

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The T making a smart planning decision? Riiight.

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Blue Line work starts Saturday.

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With info on road closures.

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BPD reports.

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