‘Stop driving’: Motorists urged to avoid diversion routes as Orange Line closure rolls on

BOSTON — Drivers are being urged to avoid diversion routes as the 30-day Orange Line shutdown continued Tuesday with a second work day commute involving shuttles replacing trains.

Two weekend days and the first morning rush hour on Monday went “relatively smoothly” due to reduced traffic on the roads, according to MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak.

But as the unprecedented shutdown rolls on, Poftak asked motorists to “continue to stop driving” so replacement shuttle buses can continue to maneuver freely along the diversion routes.

“If you’ve stopped driving because of this, please continue to stop driving,” Poftak said. “Just because things have gone relatively smoothly today does not mean you should jump back in your car. Please continue to avoid these diversion routes.”

Boston 25′s John Monahan reported that traffic on I-93 heading into the city was heavier Tuesday than it was on Monday.

The Orange Line shutdown began at 9 p.m. Friday and lasts through Sept. 18. Crews are making track and signal upgrades in an effort to complete five years worth of work in a four-week span.

“Overall, we are cautiously optimistic at this point in time that things are going pretty well,” Poftak said.

Since the subway line shut down on Friday, Poftak says three projects have been completed including replacing more than 2,400 feet of track along a stretch of southbound track between Downtown Crossing and State Street.

“We have an active work zone up and down the Orange Line and we are taking full advantage of this 30 days of unencumbered access to the Orange Line to get lots of important work done,” said Poftak.

While this work continues, nearly 200 shuttle buses are in motion to replace the train.

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