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MBTA OKs $18.5 million contract for Red Line winter resiliency work

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) fiscal and management control board on Monday awarded an $18.5 million construction contract to Barletta Heavy Division Inc. for the next phase of Red Line winter resiliency improvements.

Photo: MBTA

Under the contract, the company's crews will upgrade 9.9 miles of the Red Line's Braintree and Ashmont branches, including replacing third rail and heating systems; renewing track and ties; and installing signals, track structure and conduits.

The MBTA will spend an additional $11.8 million on materials, engineering, procurement and in-house work. The agency will replace train service with buses during weeks in September, October and December to facilitate the upgrades, MBTA officials said in a press release.

Slated to begin this summer and continue through December, the work marks the second phase of Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker's winter resiliency plan for MBTA, which was announced in June 2015. The $82.7 million plan is aimed at improving infrastructure, equipment and operations on the Red and Orange lines to mitigate disruptions during severe weather.

In February 2015, severe weather forced the MBTA to temporarily shut down some lines and alter service along commuter-rail routes for several weeks.

The first phase of Baker's winter resiliency plan was completed last year and included new third rail and rail heater improvements along 13.6 miles of the Red Line from the Andrew Station in South Boston to the Quincy Adams Station in Quincy, Mass.

"We look forward to building on the success of phase one during which miles and miles of new third rail was installed along outer portions of the Red Line," said Acting MBTA General Manager Brian Shortsleeve. "Working in tandem with Barletta, MBTA forces will continue to make the upgrades necessary to keep the subway operating no matter what Mother Nature throws at us."

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