Explainer: Why is Forest Hills Down to One Track?

Detail of official Casey Arborway plan showing new entrance to Forest Hills T north of New Washington Street.


Detail of official Casey Arborway plan showing new entrance to Forest Hills T north of New Washington Street.

If you’ve passed through Forest Hills Station since Saturday, you know only one of the two tracks is in use. Why? The short answer is for Casey Arborway construction. The platform will stay down to one track through December.

The MBTA has said it has a plan for rush hour so the closure won’t cause added delays.

MassDOT, which is in charge of the massive Casey Arborway project, told Jamaica Plain News the single track operation will facilitate several key parts of that work:

  • So that jet fans can be installed to ventilate the station.
  • In order for walls to be built for a platform extension.
  • For construction of stairs to the new Orange Line entrance north of New Washington Street.

“Single track operation has less of an impact on our transit users because it allows the work described above to progress efficiently with fewer weekend or late night shuttle bus substitutions which inconvenience Orange Line passengers,” MassDOT spokesperson Jacquelyn Goddard said in an email to Jamaica Plain News.

Those jet fans mentioned above are a crucial element. In fact, MassDOT has blamed procurement problems around them for the year of delays to the project. The new roads, bike paths and pedestrian walkways are now supposed to be done by fall 2017.

The new Orange Line entrance will allow folks to walk from the Southwest Corridor Park under New Washington Street to the station.

See all our Casey Overpass/Casey Arborway coverage here.

  • Monster

    Semi-related question: when this is all done, is there going to be a protected left turn as you move south along South St. onto the Arborway (technically “New Washington St.” at that section)?

    Presently, that driving through that area is like one giant game of chicken.

    • JamaicaPlainNews

      Hey Monster,

      I *think* that’s the plan. If any readers know for sure, please pipe up. If I understand correctly, the final alignment of the roads (visible in the map in the story) should make that movement easier than it is now.

      • Clay Harper

        This image perhaps shows it better. Yes: there will be a dedicated left turn lane and light signal for those travelling south on South Street wishing to turn left onto the eastbound Casey Arborway when the project is complete

        • JamaicaPlainNews

          Thanks, Clay! I was hoping you’d be out there listening. 🙂

          • Clay Harper

            Whether or not the marauding hordes from Rozzie-way will allow you to proceed remains an open question 😉