T: Closing Forest Hills Track Should Not Create Delays

Commuters leave the T platform at Forest Hills Station on Aug. 29, 2016. Soon only one track will be used to boarding and disembarking.

Chris Helms

Commuters leave the T platform at Forest Hills Station on Aug. 29, 2016. Soon only one track will be used to boarding and disembarking.

JP residents recently learned that one side of the platform at Forest Hills T will be closed starting next week through December. An MBTA spokesperson says the change “should have no impact on customers other than the fact they will be boarding on the southbound side.”

Joe Pesaturo of the T said the agency does not anticipate delays during the closure. One side of the platform will be closed to accommodate work on the Casey Arborway.

Pesaturo, in a voice mail to Jamaica Plain News, said the T has a plan so that during rush hour as many trains can enter and leave on one side as do currently on two. Motorpersons, Pesaturo explained, will be stationed on the platform so that when a train comes in, a motorperson can hop on the opposite end of the train and be ready to pull out and head back inbound. Pesaturo said the scheme, which in the last two years was used during construction at Oak Grove and Braintree, should let the T maintain the regular Orange Line schedule.

The Department of Transportation, the state agency in charge of the Casey Arborway project, has not yet replied to a Jamaica Plain News query about the work that is causing the track changes.

As Universal Hub pointed out, the design calls for a new pedestrian entrance to Forest Hills T on the Southwest Corridor Park side of New Washington Street. Presumably the track closure is to allow for this work, which includes a tunnel, to be done.

Engineers on the project, a “Little Dig” that will reshape Forest Hills for a generation or more, are a year behind their original schedule.

See all our Casey Overpass/Casey Arborway coverage here.