Setbacks With Government Center Station Glass Won’t Delay Reopening

Station still on track for spring 2016 opening.

Government Center Under Construction In October Photo by MBTA

Government Center Under Construction In October Photo via MBTA

What do the John Hancock Tower 200 Clarendon and the renovations at the Government Center MBTA station at City Hall Plaza have in common? They’ve both had issues with glass.

The new $82 million Government Center MBTA Station experienced a setback during construction this summer when it was discovered that the 358 glass panels mean to let natural light into the once miserably dark station were faulty. A review found the new panels fogged up due to faulty glass sealant and manufacturing defects, so they’re being replaced by the contractor at no additional expense to taxpayers. The cost for the new glass panels will be hammered out between the contractor, Barletta, and the subcontractors responsible for the glass.

In a Boston Globe report, the MBTA said the reinstallation of the glass is due to be complete by the second week of December. According to MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo, the reinstallation of the glass panels will not delay the project, as already scheduled work is ongoing. MBTA officials are downplaying this setback as not being anywhere near the level of problems other construction projects are meeting, such as the troubles facing the Green Line Extension.

“The work is proceeding without negatively affecting safety, quality, costs, or the schedule,” said Pesaturo in a statement.

The MBTA closed the station in March 2014 in order to accelerate the construction schedule of the project. MassDOT has embraced this accelerated, “bite the bullet now” approach to construction projects across the Commonwealth.

The revamped station is due to open in the spring as a more open and accessible transit hub. The cramped Cold War-era bunker vibe (possibly stemming from the fact that the station was built in 1963) is being replaced with a new sense of color, light, and space.