The Green Line's 12-day B branch closure begins today. Here's what to expect

Packard's Corner. (Photo courtesy the MBTA)
Packard's Corner. (Photo courtesy the MBTA)

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Today will be hot and sticky, but at least it’ll be better than yesterday (I know, that’s setting a low bar). We set a daily rainfall record Sunday in Boston and saw the first tornado touch down in Massachusetts in two years.

There’s more heavy rain possible tomorrow afternoon. Until then, let’s make the best of this sunshine and remember: don’t take your frustrations out on the net post.

To the news:

The B stands for bus: Today marks the beginning of the MBTA’s 12-day shutdown of the Green Line’s B branch. The branch will be closed through next Friday so crews can accelerate repairs on over 2,000 feet of track in Allston, particularly around the curved Green Line crossover in Packard’s Corner.

  • If you take the B line: Trolleys will be replaced by (free) shuttle buses between Kenmore and Boston College — though it’s worth noting they’ll skip certain stops. (More details on that here.)
  • If you drive (or bike) along Comm. Ave.: You may also be impacted by detours. Those traveling west through Packard’s Corner won’t be able to turn left on Comm. Ave. and those going east on Brighton Ave. won’t be able to drive across the intersection. There’ll also be westbound lane closures on Comm. Ave. between Allston Street and Harvard Ave. This diagram has more details on the road detours.
  • What’s the reason for this again? The curved stretch of track by Packard’s Corner hasn’t gotten an upgrade in over two decades. MBTA General Manager Phil Eng says a derailment last month at the intersection — where the tracks cross the street — was a “stark reminder” of that, so they fast-tracked repair plans.
  • The hope is that — when the branch reopens on July 29 — trolleys are able to go a lot faster than the 6 mph speed limits they’ve been restricted to in that area for the last year. In fact, shuttles might be an improvement over the current service, as B branch rider Cody Leung told WBUR’s Andrea Perdomo-Hernandez: “I actually think the buses will be faster than the T.”
Shuttle buses will replace Green Line trolley service during the 12-day B branch closure, except at Allston Street, Griggs Street and Packard's Corner.
Shuttle buses will replace Green Line trolley service during the 12-day B branch closure, except at Allston Street, Griggs Street and Packard's Corner.

The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center is unveiling its newly rebuilt emergency department today. It took about $5 million to modernize and expand the clinic’s emergency and urgent care services.

Massachusetts state representatives plan to meet behind closed doors today so leaders can clear up “misconceptions and confusion” about a new gun control bill. House Speaker Ron Mariano told reporters last week that he wants to pass the bill before lawmakers’ usual August break.

  • What’s the confusion over? It’s a big, complex bill that’s 140 pages long. It includes new requirements for tracking homemade “ghost guns,” a ban on carrying firearms in places like schools or government buildings, and new offenses for firing a weapon near a dwelling. While the bill would also streamline the gun license application process, gun rights groups are already rallying against the wide-ranging legislation.

Sorry Patriots fans: The Pats will have to make do this season without DeAndre Hopkins. The star free agent wide receiver — who Bill Belichick and company were targeting this offseason — is reportedly signing with the Tennessee Titans.

P.S.— Do you love barbecue? How about culinary reality shows? If your answer is “yes” to both, don’t miss Radio Boston's barbecue smackdown this Thursday at CitySpace. You’ll have a chance to take in the sweet, smoky flavors of BBQ (including vegetarian options) prepared by local chefs and judge a winner at the end. (Yes, there will be an outdoor grill.) Grab your tickets here.


Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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