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MBTA: 'Severely deteriorated' support columns force suspension of Boston subway lines

MBTA: 'Severely deteriorated' support columns force suspension of Boston subway lines
A Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus is seen at Haymark Station in 2019. Photo by Pi.1415926535/Wikimedia Commons

June 24 (UPI) -- The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority on Friday suspended Green and Orange Line subway rail service in downtown Boston due to unsafe support columns that pass through MBTA train tunnels.

Boston train service is being disrupted due to demolition of the private Government Center Garage by HYM Construction. Support columns for the garage extend into the MBTA tunnels near Haymarket Station.

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HYM Construction advised the MBTA that those columns are "severely deteriorated, creating an unsafe environment in the tunnel area for Green Line and Orange Line trains to operate through."

"This service disruption as a result of HYM's project is unacceptable and the MBTA will seek to hold HYM Construction accountable for all costs associated with this event," MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said in a statement. "Riders' safety is our top priority and unfortunately, as a result of this private party's project, we must divert trains until the tunnels can be inspected and cleared by independent experts."

The MBTA said rail service will not be resumed until "a team of structural engineers, examining and assessing infrastructure above and below the surface, makes emergency repairs and confirms that subway service can safely resume."

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Green Line service in Boston will be replaced by shuttle bus service between Lechmere and Government Center stations, according to MBTA. Haymarket Station is closed and won't get shuttle bus service.

Boston's Orange Line service is suspended between Back Bay and North Station.

The MBTA is encouraging all workers who can to work from home during the subway service disruption.

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