Structural issue disrupts MBTA service, closes streets near Government Center

BOSTON — A structural problem with the Government Center parking garage is causing problems for the MBTA and impacting traffic in the area.

On Thursday afternoon, HYM, the contractor who is demolishing the Government Center Garage, informed the MBTA that a support column of the garage in the MBTA tunnel has been seriously damaged.

HYM said the column was affected by water damage and is not the result of ongoing construction work on the garage.

“An underground column near the Green and Orange Lines was identified as affected by years of water damage,” HYM said in a statement. “The condition of this column has nothing to do with the demolition work at the Garage of the Rijkscentrum.”

MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak contradicted that statement and blamed the construction company.

“This disruption of service as a result of the HYM project is unacceptable and the MBTA will try to hold HYM Construction accountable for all costs associated with this event,” said Poftak. “The safety of the riders is our top priority and unfortunately, as a result of this private party’s project, we have to divert trains until the tunnels can be inspected and released by independent experts.”

The MBTA announced during Thursday night’s commute that the Green Line service will be replaced with shuttle buses between Government Center and Lechmere.

The Orange Line is suspended between North Station and Back Bay.

The Boston Police Department said many streets in the area have also been closed due to structural problems. Parts of Congress Street, Surface Road, New Chardon Street and Sudbury Street will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians.

Police say the closures and diversions will remain in place until further notice.

Orange Line Service runs between Oak Grove and North Station and between Forest Hills and Back Bay. Customers can use the Green Line service through Downtown.

Mayor Michelle Wu said the city will work with the MBTA to support shuttle bus diversions.

“Tonight, the City of Boston took the precaution of closing the streets around the Government Center Garage while the garage owner and the MBTA conduct further structural analysis of a deteriorated support column found today under the garage,” Wu said.

The service on the Green and Orange Lines was disrupted in March due to collapse at the Government Center Parking Garage. More than a week after the collapse, engineers said it was safe to resume service.

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