Green and Orange Lines closed near Haymarket due to unsecured garage supports


OT is encouraging passengers affected by the outages to work from home until the issue is resolved, if they can.

HYM Construction found that the support columns running through the MBTA tunnels had severely deteriorated. (Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Major outages on the Green and Orange Lines are expected to last several days after a contractor discovered that the garage brackets running through the MBTA tunnels near Haymarket Station had deteriorated.

The MBTA announced Thursday night that, effective immediately, the Orange Line will not operate between Back Bay and North Station. He said Orange Line passengers can use the Green Line between Copley and Government Center stations as an alternative.

In addition, the Green Line will be replaced by buses between Lechmere and Government Center stations.

The MBTA said that HYM Construction, the contractor that is demolishing the Government Center Garage, told the transit authority Thursday afternoon that the garage support columns that form part of the subway tunnels around Haymarket Station were left in disrepair. ruins.

The tunnel area is currently an unsafe environment for trains to pass through, the MBTA said, so the service needs to be stopped immediately.

In a statement, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak blamed HYM Construction for the service disruptions.

“This service interruption as a result of the HYM project is unacceptable and the MBTA will seek to hold HYM Construction responsible for all costs associated with this event,” Poftak said. “Passenger safety is our top priority and unfortunately, as a result of the design of this private part, we must divert trains until the tunnels can be inspected and cleared by independent experts.”

An MBTA spokesperson explained to over the phone that while the garage brackets go through the MBTA tunnels, they are part of the garage, which is privately owned and therefore not the responsibility of the MBTA.

WBZ-TV reported that, in a statement, HYM Construction said the columns had deteriorated due to water damage and that the service interruptions are not a result of ongoing construction work at the garage.

“An underground column in the vicinity of the Green and Orange Lines has been identified as compromised by years of water damage,” HYM said in a statement to CBS News. “The condition of this column is not related to the demolition work at the Government Center Garage.”

The MBTA said it will not resume rail service through the Haymarket Tunnels until a team of structural engineers makes emergency repairs and confirms that subway service can be safely resumed.

OT said it will provide service updates to customers as inspection work continues, but anticipates service interruptions could last several days.

Extra MBTA personnel will be available to assist customers during this train service disruption, the MBTA said. Additional accessibility vans will also be available, and interested passengers should ask MBTA personnel for information.

“Because of expected delays on local roads as buses navigate downtown Boston streets, the MBTA also encourages passengers directly affected by the tunnel closures to consider working from home, if possible during this time,” the MBTA wrote.

These service outages are the latest in a long line of problems for the MBTA in recent months.

Earlier this week, the transit agency took all new Orange Line trains out of service due to a battery issue with some of them. The week before, it reduced service on the Red, Orange and Blue lines in response to federal officials who criticized the use of overworked train dispatchers.

On June 15, the Federal Transit Authority released four special guidelines for the MBTA in an attempt to immediately increase safety. The FTA had been inspecting the MBTA for weeks after a series of security breaches in which people were injured.

In one of the most alarming cases, a man was dragged to his death after his arm was caught between the doors of a Red Line carriage. Train cars must not be able to move forward when the doors are obstructed.

The FTA has yet to decide whether or not to take over the MBTA to avoid further trouble, and a decision is likely to come later in the summer. A similar federal takeover happened just once before, in Washington D.C.

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