Month of Weekend Red Line Closures Begins Nov. 17

Buses will replace trains between Harvard and Alewife stations.

The Red Line between Harvard Square and Alewife stations will be shut down on Saturdays and Sundays for four straight weekends, starting on Nov. 17, according to the MBTA's website.

The last weekend of the closure will be Dec. 8 and 9.

During those weekends, bus service will replace trains between Harvard and Alewife.

The MBTA says the closures are taking place so the transportation authority can work on the Floating Slab Project. The Tufts Daily reports that floating concrete slabs rest on rubber disks and are designed to minimize vibrations and wear and tear in the tunnel.

This same section of Red Line experienced four months of weekend closures in late 2011 and early 2012 so the MBTA could begin substantial repair work in the tunnel, which opened in 1985.

At the time, the MBTA said it would be conducting a $35 million capital improvements program in the tunnel between 2012 and 2016, which includes replacing the third rail. So, expect more weekend closures over the next three years.

During the last round of weekend closures, some businesses in Davis Square were annoyed that the subway line, which brings visitors to the area's restaurants, bars and cafes, closed down over the holiday season. In response, the MBTA offered an advertising discount to Somerville businesses. 

This time around, the four weeks of weekend closures will overlap with the beginning of the holiday season, but not the entire season.

Related coverage

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MBTA Offers Ad Discount to Somerville Businesses

MBTA Offers Advertising Discount to Somerville Businesses

Weekend Red Line Service Resumes This Weekend

Paula Woolley November 16, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Has the MBTA said WHY they've chosen to do the repairs in late Nov. to early Dec, when many people will be traveling for Thanksgiving or thinking about going downtown to shop? It seems to me to be the worst possible timing, especially the weekend of Thanksgiving. The last time they did this work, I found it was easy enough to take the bus to Harvard, but coming back, there were too many people getting off the trains for the buses that were there, and I ended up walking home from Harvard. I'd much rather make this walk in the spring or early fall than in colder weather, and in general waiting for a bus is more pleasant in milder weather. Why couldn't they have done this work a few months ago, or next spring?? And will they consider running the T on Thanksgiving weekend? I think they did last year.


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