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MBTA to accelerate work along Green Line’s D branch

A D branch Green Line train makes its way through the MBTA's Waban Station in Newton in 2016.
A D branch Green Line train makes its way through the MBTA's Waban Station in Newton in 2016.Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said it would launch accelerated track and signal replacement work for the Green Line’s D branch next month that will require a full closure of the track for a total of 18 days.

The MBTA’s Green Line D Track and Signal Replacement Project includes replacing 25,000 feet of track and 6.5 miles of signals along the D branch from Riverside to Beaconsfield stations, according to the agency.

The agency said it is working to complete the most disruptive track replacement work by the early fall, and continue signal replacement and testing through through the end of autumn.


MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said that construction always brings some challenges to abutters and riders.

“However, acceleration condenses the period of disruption and allows us to work more efficiently. Once complete, the D Branch Track and Signal Replacement project will deliver safer and more reliable service for years to come,” he said in the statement.

Beginning after the end of normal service on Friday, June 11, crews will work 24 hours a day for a total of 18 days to perform the track and signal work.

Starting Saturday, June 12, through Sunday June 20, train service will be replaced with shuttle buses on the D branch between Riverside and Kenmore, the MBTA said. Buses will be used again from Thursday, June 24, through Friday July 2.

Train service will be replaced with shuttle buses that will stop at stations between Riverside and Kenmore on those days, according to the MBTA.

Work will pause from Saturday, July 3 through Monday, July 5 for the Fourth of July holiday. On Tuesday, July 6, shuttles will continue to run on weeknights and weekends through the duration of the project, the statement said.

“The MBTA will carefully monitor ridership levels on shuttle buses, adjusting service levels if needed,” the statement said.


Crews will be working along the project corridor between Riverside and Beaconsfield on catenary pole installations, welding of previously installed new rail, and signal replacement, “some of which can generate noise,” the statement said.

Those workers will also be moving equipment on and off the tracks in various locations, it said.

The noisiest track replacement work is anticipated to be concentrated in the areas near Reservoir and Riverside, according to the MBTA.

“The [project’s] acceleration will condense the duration of the noisy trackwork, however, and reduce future impacts on D Branch riders,” the MBTA said in the statement.

Before the start of the project, the signal system used elements from the 1950s, and the track was about 30 years old, the MBTA said. The infrastructure was safe, but in need of updating, it said.

The updates will allow for lifting of speed restrictions on some sections of track for faster service, and will also mitigate the risk of service interruptions, according to the agency.

John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.