Friday, June 6, 2008

MBTA's Greenbush Line Needs a New Bridge and new MBCR Contract

While I was watching WCVB-TV Channel 5's morning news this morning, I nearly spit out my coffee when I heard a report about the 1-year old Greenbush line. The line that took years to build because some South Shore residents didn't want the commuter rail extension (they already had commuter boats and access to the Red Line).

The T, which was already in a financial budget crisis, is "being forced to spend more than $5 million to tear down and rebuild a 3-year old bridge on the Greenbush line." That's nuts, huh? This bridge debacle will now drive up the overall cost of the Greenbush line to $532 billion.

The bridge needs to be rebuilt because it does not meet state and federal environmental requirements. The current bridge could make flooding in this area worse during powerful storms.

According to Channel 5, the T's board also approved a 3-year, $738 million contract extension for the Massachusetts Bay Railroad Company (MBCR) to continue to run the commuter rail lines. The new contract calls for increased penalties for late commuter rail trains.

In a similar article from today's The Boston Globe, the MBCR's contract had an average increase of more than $50 million a year compared to the original 5-year contract. Along with the increased penalises, the new contract will add a bonus for each day 98% of commuter rail trains arrive no more than 5 minutes late. The new penalties/bonuses are capped at $1.9 million a year.

Rounding-up this news round-up, a fun article ran in yesterday's Bostonist.com.

3 comments:

dga said...

Umm, the Globe retracted the story about the railroad bridge. Turns out they are replacing a 100 year old bridge they had repaired but not replaced for the Greenbush project.

Still drives the cost up, but it wasn't only 3 years old.

Nathan said...

I'm thinking you meant $532 MILLION - not billion.

Train Rider said...

Nathan -

Yes! It was a typo. The correct amount was $523 million not billion.

Thanks!

Train Rider