Title: Track Defects on Green Line Extension Cause Concerns over Transparency and Accountability
Boston’s Green Line Extension project has hit a major setback as it was revealed that significant portions of the tracks will need to be redone due to being too narrow. General Manager Phillip Eng disclosed that approximately half of the tracks on the Union Branch and 80% of the tracks on the Medford/Tufts Branch must be widened to meet safety standards.
The issue with the tracks originated from faulty fabrication of ties and pre-installed plates, which were discovered by MBTA staff back in April 2021. Fortunately, trains are currently running safely, but the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has instructed construction companies to create a proposal to address the problem.
Thankfully, the burden of the costs for fixing the tracks will not fall on the public. The MBTA has stated that the responsibility will lie with the construction companies involved in the project.
Two senior employees implicated in the track defects are no longer working for the MBTA. However, the agency has not disclosed whether they were fired or left voluntarily.
Governor Maura Healey and former Governor Charlie Baker expressed their disappointment towards the track defects and criticized the lack of disclosure and action taken by senior transportation officials.
The necessary repairs will involve crews removing and shifting tie plates to ensure the tracks meet the appropriate width. The MBTA expects to receive a repair proposal in the following weeks.
Commuters on the Green Line have been growing increasingly frustrated by the presence of slow zones, with some areas witnessing trains moving at a snail’s pace, as slow as 3 mph.
This revelation about the track defects has raised concerns about transparency and accountability within the previous administration. The MBTA aims to address these concerns by sharing the repair plan with the public, aiming to minimize disruptions for riders as much as possible.
As the MBTA enters this crucial phase of track repairs, commuters are eagerly awaiting improvements on the Green Line Extension, hoping for a more efficient and reliable commuting experience in the near future.
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