Passengers on the MBTA's Green Line D branch will have to deal with shuttle buses through tomorrow as crews work to repair a damaged steel pole in Newton and remove debris brought down by Hurricane Sandy.
The repairs will take "at least 24 hours," according to State Transportation Secretary Rich Davey, and a "best-case scenario" would have service up and running by rush hour Wednesday.
In the meantime, shuttle buses will operate in place of the trains, Davey said.
Currently, shuttles are transporting passengers from Riverside Station to Newton Highlands, according to the latest T alerts. Earlier this afternoon, shuttles replaced the entire line from Riverside to Kenmore while crews removed debris.
Commuters should check MBTA alerts tomorrow to see where the shuttle buses will be operating on the D Line.
In a statement made this afternoon in Newton, Acting MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis told members of the media that crews are working to repair one of the catenary poles that was knocked down and twisted when a "substantial tree" blew over yesterday and took out wires attached to the pole.
The pole and wires under repair are located in Newton between the Waban and Eliot stops.
Although crews are working to get repairs done as soon as possible, Davis said there it could be "several days" before full service on the D Line is restored.
According to the MBTA website, shuttle buses will be in place from Riverside to Reservoir Stations this weekend, Nov. 3-4.
"We want to thank customers for understanding," Davis said. "We're working very hard to get service back as quickly as we can."
Both Davis and Davey spoke Tuesday afternoon from the repair site on the tracks in Newton, and noted the challenges of replacing the damaged pole.
Davis explained that because the poles are encased in concrete, crews must remove the pole, dig a new hole, fill it with concrete and insert the new pole into the casing. Trains cannot operate on the line until the concrete is set and the pole is secure.
In the meantime, the MBTA is looking into "temporary solutions" to allow some service, Davis said.
Overall, Sandy has caused significant transit delays in Boston. The T was forced to shut down service at 2 p.m. Monday because of the storm, and all four subway lines and several commuter rail lines had significant debris on them. Service was restored on Tuesday, for the exception of parts of the D Line.
"I want to commend all of our employees for all the challenges they faced yesterday," Davis said, noting that no MBTA employees were injured yesterday during the repair work and debris removal.
Davey said during his statement Tuesday that the MBTA is likely to apply for federal aid to help cover the costs of the repairs.