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State delays shutdown of Green Line Extension section until at least September

MassDOT announced today it's holding off shutting down the Union Square branch of the Green Line Extension until at least September after realizing that starting a six-week shutdown right after it shut the Sumner Tunnel without consulting with local officials about possible workarounds was kind of stupid. Also, an inspection of the bridge by MassDOT engineers this weekend showed the Squires Bridge, which crosses the tracks, can last an extra couple of months without fear of collapse:

MassDOT crews inspected the bridge over the weekend and made the decision delay repairs until September so that the closure does not occur at the same time as the Sumner Tunnel closure and to allow appropriate time to explore mitigation options and communicate with the public.

State Rep. Michael Connolly (26th Middlesex) praised the Healey administration (oops, there he goes again) for actually listening to him and local officials about the planned GLX shutdown, originally announced just last Friday for later in the month:

I am hopeful this extra time will give MassDOT and the MBTA an opportunity to improve the plans for the Squires Bridge repairs.

This would be the second time in recent months MassDOT has changed bridge plans after a local uproar.

In March, MassDOT announced plans to re-open the closed River Street Bridge in Hyde Park to vehicles by next spring, rather than following through on its initial plans to keep the span shut completely until at least 2025. In that case, the state ran into issues because Amtrak's Northeast Corridor trains run right under it and the railroad refused to stop any trains to allow for replacement work; the state figured out that if it built a wooden platform under the decaying bridge, it could do major repairs to it without risk of anything falling on passing trains, while it readies a more permanent replacement bridge off site.



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Really? Not happy they didn't fix this bridge while the Gl was under construction. But honestly, how much 'Logan' traffic will actually use the GL to go to Union Sq? Do the work and get it done.

Now the shutdown is planned for September, after vacation season and when folks are back to school. How will that timeframe be any better?

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The issue with the shutdown as originally announced was less that it overlapped with the Sumner shutdown and more that there was very little communication and no mitigation planing. The folks who use the Union Sq branch deserve more from the MBTA than "lol you figure it out", which is what they were being offered.

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