Thursday, February 16, 2012

Red Line weekend work ends March 10th

It has been almost four months in the making, but the Red Line work north of Harvard is almost complete. This is a bit of good news for Red Line commuters who have had to deal with shuttle buses between Alewife and Harvard stations on weekends. 

The MBTA announced today that work is set to end in four weeks and trains will start running again on Saturday March 10th. The work is also set to end within the project's budget, according to interim MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis. Both this project and the Science Park Elevator project are some of the only MBTA projects, in recent years, that have finished on time and within their budget.

The Red Line extension to Alewife opened in 1985 and has recently fallen into despair. This is why the T announced last November that they would be addressing $80 million worth of backlogged maintenance on weekends between November and March. The project allowed MBTA crews to plug cracks in the tunnels, seal water leaks, replace corroding concrete bases and electrical wiring. They also replaced numerous damaged sections of track and third rail.

The Red Line trackage between Harvard and Alewife was in such a state of despair that it came under review in 2009. The safety study showed that if maintenance was deferred any longer on this particular section of trackage the threat of train derailment would become even more significant and eventually make it unsafe to travel between Harvard and Alewife.

The MBTA has been very transparent throughout the construction process. They have been regularly posting photos of the construction on their Flickr photo stream and have been keeping passengers informed through their Twitter account.

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