More bad news for T: Haymarket shuts down

Developer says columns in subway tunnel area severely deteriorated

THE MBTA shut down Green and Orange Line subway service through Haymarket Station Thursday evening after HYM, the developer of the Government Center Garage, said columns supporting the garage and running through the subway tunnel area are severely deteriorated.

“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,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “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.”

HYM issued a statement saying the columns deteriorated because of water damage. “A subsurface column in proximity to the Green and Orange Lines was identified as compromised from years of water damage,” HYM. said.  “The condition of this column is unrelated to the demolition work at the Government Center Garage. In an abundance of caution, the MBTA is diverting operations around the Haymarket MBTA Station.”

The subway tunnel under Haymarket was shut down previously on March 26 after a portion of the Government Center Garage collapsed with most of the debris falling on the ground above the tunnels. One worker was killed during the collapse.

T officials at the time said they were bringing in engineers to determine whether the tunnels were safe. After extensive testing, the tunnel area was completely reopened on April 9. T officials said the costs the agency incurred during the shutdown would be paid by HYM.

On Thursday afternoon, more than two months after the initial shutdown and reopening, T officials said HYM notified them about the severely deteriorated columns, which made the tunnel area unsafe. T officials said service will not resume until a team of structural engineers survey the entire area, make needed repairs, and deem it safe.

The MBTA last night put in place the same diversions that were used during the last shutdown. “On the Green Line, bus shuttles will run between Lechmere and Government Center. On the Orange Line, service is suspended between Back Bay Station and North Station.

The T also repeated the same warning it used during the initial garage collapse. “Because of expected delays on local roads as buses navigate Boston’s downtown streets, the MBTA also encourages commuters directly impacted by the tunnel closures to consider working from home if possible during this time,” the T said in a press release issued at 8:38 p.m.