CLEVELAND -- The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's Blue and Green Lines are scheduled to reopen Thursday morning at 4:00 a.m. The train lines were closed and replaced by buses due to debris that had fallen onto tracks as well as water damage.
However, the buses will still serve the Blue and Green Line trains until 1 a.m. Thursday.
"We've cleared the tracks of debris and made our repairs and deemed them safe to use," RTA spokesperson Mary Shaffer wrote in an email Wednesday night after 10 p.m.
Wednesday morning, they were experiencing trouble. "Due to flooding on the shared areas of the Blue and Green Line trains, all of the lines are now replaced by buses until the flooding is cleared and area is deemed safe for use," RTA officials wrote.
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Flooding near the Buckeye-Woodhill station made the tracks there unusable, according to RTA. Other parts of the Green Line were underwater Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, so crews had to assess the damage before deciding if they were safe to use, RTA said.
When riders found out about the closures, they were concerned about having to take the bus shuttle service. "Shoot, it feel like you be on that thing forever... 30 or 45 minutes or whatever," Kwanda Plato told Channel 3's Hilary Golston. "It feel like you be on there all day."
Kyree Brewer, who rides the Green and Blue Line trains often, reports he sees a lot of foot traffic at the Buckeye-Woodhill station and expected the inconvenience to touch many riders. "I see a lot of people come down here," Brewer told Golston. "This is a highly used station."
RTA worked with the Ohio Department of Transportation after determining the ODOT bridge work over the RTA tracks caused some of the trouble.
However, Amanda Lee, a spokesperson for ODOT told Golston the bridge work over the station has to be completed.
Lee reports ODOT experienced similar trouble when heavy rain caused debris to fall on the tracks from the construction site a few weeks back.
The construction is expected to be complete in 2016. Lee reports the ODOT project would not have been a problem for RTA if it hadn't been for the torrential downpour.
In addition to the flooding, which caused deterioration under the tracks, the debris falling from the bridge made it unsafe to operate trains, according to an RTA spokeswoman.
All customers had been advised to plan for extra time Wednesday as crews cleaned up flooded areas and to look for buses on the streets instead of trains on the tracks.
According to RTA, the Blue and Green Lines carry 10,000 riders a day, which is 5 percent of RTA's daily ridership.
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