It’s hard to describe how outrageous it is that the brand-new, $2.3 billion Green Line Extension was built with miles of tracks that are too close together. Bruce Mohl writes at CommonWealth:
At a confusing press conference on Thursday that raised almost as many questions as answers, MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng said it appears the prefabricated plated rail ties for the Green Line extension were made to incorrect specifications and then installed. A plated rail tie consists of a wooden tie with steel plates on either end for holding the rail in place.
Gov. Maura Healey blamed her predecessor, Charlie Baker, which is a pretty safe call — the GLX was built on his watch, so surely someone in his administration was responsible. The Boston Globe reports that Eng also said his underlings didn’t inform him of the problem in a timely manner. Let the firings begin.
One thought that occurs to me is that Baker canceled a more expensive version of the GLX approved by his predecessor, Deval Patrick. It would not surprise me if Baker let an unqualified contractor sweet-talk his administration into doing the job on the cheap.
I don’t usually take the GLX because the Medford/Tufts terminus is too far from my house and is s-l-o-w. Instead, I generally take the commuter rail to North Station and then the Orange Line. But the GLX can be valuable as a backup, and of course a lot of people depend on it. This is literally unbelievable, except that it’s the MBTA.