The Sumner Tunnel will remain open for travel this weekend, as the MBTA continues to suspend service on two rail lines following structural damage that was found in the Government Center Garage Thursday afternoon.
And another MBTA train derailed Thursday night, an incident that has been reported to the Federal Transit Administration, which wrapped up its safety management inspection last week.
MassDOT said planned weekend restoration work on the Sumner Tunnel has been postponed, “due to travel impacts created by the suspension of regular MBTA service in the area.” A number of streets near Government Center were also closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
This weekend would have marked the second non-consecutive Friday night to Monday morning closure of the tunnel, which is undergoing an extensive restoration after nearly a century of service. The tunnel is a major thoroughfare into the city for East Boston and north-of-Boston commuters.
The MBTA unexpectedly shut down service on parts of the Green and Orange Line Thursday evening, blaming the construction company performing demolition work on a portion of the Government Center Garage for creating unsafe conditions in the structure.
MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said the “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.”
However, The HYM Investment Group, which is associated with the Government Center Garage’s redevelopment, said the garage’s support column was compromised from years of water damage, and not from the ongoing demolition work.
The MBTA said Friday night it was assisting the developer with gaining access to the garage’s support columns to begin reinforcement of the structures. Repair work is underway, and the T’s engineering and safety experts will make an assessment for when service can safely resume.
MBTA spokesperson Lisa Battiston said an out-of-service Red Line train derailed at approximately 8:45 p.m. Thursday, the latest in a series of safety issues for the agency as it works to comply with federal directives.
No passengers were aboard the train, which was within the carhouse when it slowly began to move into the rail yard at Cabot.
“As the out-of-service train proceeded slowly out of the carhouse, it came into contact with a metal grate, which caused the out-of-service train to derail while upright,” said Battiston. “The third rail and a switch in the yard were damaged as a result, but both have since been repaired overnight.”
There were no injuries. The train was re-railed at approximately 11:30 p.m. and the incident remains under investigation, Battiston said.
BOSTON, MA – June 24: MBTA suspends Green, Orange Line service due to structural issue at Government Center Garage on June 24, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald) BOSTON, MA – June 24: MBTA suspends Green, Orange Line service due to structural issue at Government Center Garage on June 24, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)