Home Hiking boots Orange Line works on schedule, 37% complete as Governor visits State Street station

Orange Line works on schedule, 37% complete as Governor visits State Street station


The governor has criticized his handling of the MBTA in recent months as a a series of incidents – from a Green Line crash that injured 27 people to a man being dragged to death on the Red Line, an Orange Line train catching fire and a federal safety investigation – culminating in a shutdown unprecedented for an entire line of the city’s subway system.

On Sunday, as he asked employees about the kinds of new leads they were laying down and looking over the platform, Baker seemed eager to show the public that he was playing a direct role in ensuring that the job was done, reminiscent of his hands-on approach to system management during the so-called “snowmageddon” of 2015.

Baker said there are few access points to the section of the line between the state Street and Downtown Crossing, which made it difficult to replace lanes during nights and weekends.

MBTA general manager Steve Poftak, who was also on the tour, told reporters he was confident his agency and contractors would complete the work within 30 days as scheduled.

“We’re happy with how it’s going,” Poftak said standing with a dozen MBTA workers wearing hard hats and yellow vests. “It may not look like a ballet set behind me, but the amount of choreography that has gone into managing and planning a number of projects with a limited number of access points has really been amazing.”

Baker also said he was confident the work would be completed on schedule.

The lane replacement between State Street and Downtown Crossing fixes one of six slow areas on the line that the agency is focusing on during the shutdown.

A poster that MBTA officials showed the governor broke down the agency’s progress into specific categories. For example, the MBTA has achieved 25% of its goal of replacing 3,500 feet of track, 37% of 14,000 feet of rail replacement, and 28% of signal upgrades at Oak Grove and Malden.

One area where progress is lagging is the replacement of the vibration-reducing rail fasteners known as the “Eggs of Cologne”, which is only 14% complete. Meanwhile, the replacement of the special lane is 65% complete.

During the station tour, Baker asked employees about MBTA’s multilingual outreach, the status of testing newly installed signals, and exactly how the new track was installed and then connected to larger tracks. old.

Baker was particularly interested in whether the work was truly 24/7. Poftak said there is a 12-hour day shift and a 10-hour night shift, so the job is about 22 hours a day.

Touting the benefits of the shutdown, Baker and Poftak hinted at the possibility of shutting down other sections of the system in the future.

“We will be looking at other strategies to remove speed restrictions on other lines, but obviously more to come on that,” Poftak said.

The chief executive said one of the main lessons the agency learned from the shutdown is to “communicate, communicate, communicate” with riders and local authorities.

Several local mayors have complained of having received little information from the MBTA before the shutdown earlier this month.

Above ground, passengers said they have become accustomed to shuttles replacing the Orange Line, but hope the train will enter and exit Jamaica Plain stations in Malden soon.

Getting off an Orange Line shuttle Sunday afternoon at the Government Center after shopping in Assembly Square, Shrijay Kudale, 25, called the ride “smooth” and “acceptable”.

“I just hope it ends on September 19 and it doesn’t continue after that,” he said.

Kervin Emile, who in his late 20s rode the Orange Line from his home near Forest Hills to Assembly, where he works in hospitality five times a week. On Sunday afternoon, he came home from work and said the shutdown had doubled his commute time.

However, the buses are on time and run frequently. “I mean, that’s the best they have,” he said.

Emile said he would not be surprised if the closure was extended.

“Just getting to this point means there are big problems,” he said.

Alexander Thompson can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @AlMThompson