Title: MBTA Identifies Significant Track Widening Needed on Green Line Extension
In a recent development, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has revealed that a substantial portion of the Green Line Extension tracks requires widening. Specifically, around 50% of the tracks on the Union Branch and a staggering 80% of the tracks on the Medford/Tufts Branch are in need of fixing.
MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng attributes the issue to faulty fabrication of ties and pre-installed plates. Although MBTA staff initially noticed the problem in April 2021, the project proceeded as planned, with trains currently running safely. However, the construction companies involved have now been directed by the MBTA to present a proposal to address the widening concern.
Governor Maura Healey has forcefully denounced the defects as “absolutely unacceptable” and criticized the prior T administration for withholding information about the issues. Additionally, two senior employees associated with the project are no longer employed by the MBTA, although their identities and departure circumstances have not been disclosed.
The discrepancy in track width amounts to an eighth of an inch, and rectifying the situation will require crews to remove and shift tie plates to achieve the correct width. Despite the inconvenience caused to commuters, the MBTA assures the public that a plan to fix the tracks will be shared promptly, with minimal impact on riders.
This recent revelation has left many commuters frustrated, particularly those who have endured slow zones on the Green Line for months. Disappointment looms as some question why the track issues were not foreseen during the construction phase.
Jarred Johnson of TransitMatters has also criticized the previous administration for cultivating a culture of secrecy and lack of accountability, leading to the current situation.
Once the repair plan is finalized, it will be made public to ensure efficient progress and put the track issues firmly behind. The MBTA is committed to overcoming this setback and restoring the Green Line Extension to its optimal performance for the benefit of all commuters.
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