Preliminary Work Begins on Government Center MBTA Station

The brunt of the project won't start until spring, but construction teams are getting things ready.

Riders were granted some relief over the summer when officials from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation decided to delay major repairs to the Government Center Station outside of City Hall.

But as the deadline to begin renovations approaches, construction crews have already started some preliminary work at the site.

In an announcement Tuesday, MassDOT warned pedestrians and passengers that the Government Center Station Rehabilitation Project, which will cut off access to the Green Line station for two years starting in the spring of 2014, is moving forward with work being done this week.

“MBTA contractors will begin work on Cambridge Street, including removal of the median island from Sudbury Street. Work this week may also include modifying the triangular island at Court and Cambridge Streets and putting in the new temporary sidewalk along the City Hall side of Cambridge Street,” officials said on their blog.

According to reports, the project was postponed in July after MassDOT announced work needed to be done in the Callahan Tunnel first. Last winter officials discovered that the panels inside the tunnel were eroded and rusted. One of the panels fell off of the wall last year during the busy rush hour traffic. MassDOT didn’t want both projects going on at the same time, fearing it would cause major issues for commuters both on the road, and underground.

The artery, which connects downtown to Logan Airport, will close down the tunnel for three months starting in December, and should be done by March.

As for the Government Station project, once work is complete in the Callahan Tunnel, workers will begin revamping the large stop outside of City Hall—a welcoming gift for incoming Mayor-elect Marty Walsh—for two years.

During that time, beginning in the spring, riders will be detoured and forced to utilize shuttle buses, or take nearby stations when trying to connect to Green Line trains.

Once complete, officials said Government Center will feature new elevators from the surface to the Green Line level and from the Green Line level to the Blue Line level, renovations to both the Green Line and Blue Line platforms, a new station entrance and lobbies, and reconstruction of a portion of City Hall plaza in the vicinity of the station “to provide accessible paths of travel to the station.”

The $90-million project is expected to be wrap up by spring of 2016. It will be the stations first update in almost half a century.