Casey Arborway, Dec. 11, 2016

Casey Arborway Milestone: Shea Square Stoplights to Go Live Thursday

Jamaica Plain's "Little Dig" -- AKA the Casey Aborway -- is scheduled to pass a key benchmark this week. Shea Circle, the part of the Arborway where Franklin Park meets the main entrance to Forest Hills Cemetery, will take a giant step toward becoming Shea Square. The stop lights in the new configuration are to be turned on for the first time on Thursday. Transportation planners say a signalized intersection will be more efficient than the large circle it is replacing. Here's what the finished product should look like:

Here are the details on which traffic movements will be affected the next two weeks, as outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation:

On or about December 15th the traffic signal will control Shea Square for the first time.

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Detail: Toole Square final plan

Casey Arborway Milestone: First New Trees to be Planted

Remember the winter of 2015? If the 100-plus inches of snow didn't depress you, there was the chopping down of more than a hundred trees around Forest Hills for the Casey Arborway project. Now for the good news, nature lovers: The first trees of the mammoth project will soon be planted. The Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that week after next contractors plan to start planting trees in the area where the permanent median of the Arborway will be. It was just one line in MassDOT's latest "Three-week Look-ahead," but it should bring a smile to everyone who hated seeing those 160 trees cut down.

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

Explainer: Why is Forest Hills Down to One Track?

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.

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

T: Closing Forest Hills Track Should Not Create Delays

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.

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From Sept. 3, 2016 through December, only one of Forest Hills' two platforms will be in use.

One of Forest Hills Platforms to Close Through December

UPDATE: The T explains that it has a plan so that during rush hour it can keep to the regular Orange Line schedule. ~~~~~

Fellow Orange Line riders, get ready for some additional chaos in your favorite subway line. The T will be shutting down one of the two platforms at Forest Hills soon as part of the Casey Arborway Project. Here's the laconic announcement posted by the T:
All train service will board on the southbound platform at Forest Hills beginning Saturday, Sept. 3, and continuing through December 2016, due to the Casey Overpass Project.

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