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Baker: National Guard Helping To Restore T Service Ahead Of Schedule

BOSTON (CBS) - Gov. Charlie Baker is optimistic that the process of removing snow to fully restore MBTA service won't take quite as long as the 30-day estimation given by General Manager Beverly Scott.

Read: MBTA Announces Service Restoration Plan

Speaking before members of the New England Council Thursday morning, Baker praised the National Guard for their efforts in the snow cleanup.

National Guard members. (WBZ)

"I think the good news here is the original assumption by the general manager that it would take 30 days to get back to something close to normal I think we're going to beat that by a lot," the governor said.

"The National Guard literally, starting Wednesday, has been shoveling out the Red Line from JFK to Braintree. It's 20 miles."

WBZ NewsRadio's Karen Twomey reports that about 150 National Guard members cleared the tracks from Braintree to Quincy on Thursday.

MassDOT announced late Thursday that pending successful testing, Red Line service is expected to resume to North Quincy on the Braintree branch of the Red Line Friday morning.

"I hope it helps," PFC Kayla Harvey said. "Some of my friends have been not able to go into work."

The governor also expressed concern about rain forecast for this weekend making the snow significantly heavier.

"The kind of fluffy snow you have sitting on your roof right now is about 7 pounds per cubic square foot," he said.

"When it rains this weekend and that snow gets wet, it's going to weight 21 pounds per cubic (square) foot."

MassDOT says union workers, supervised inmates and National Guard soldiers cleared 1,278,000 cubic feet of snow and ice on Thursday and recovered 78 miles of track.

The National Guard added that there have been:

  • 2,500 truckloads of snow
  • 6,500 hydrants cleared
  • 52 bus stops cleared
  • 148 missions complete
  • 168 miles of road cleared
  • 92 communities served

Baker says he is trying to nudge the commuter rail operators to try and improve their service as well.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports:

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