Less than a week after the suspension of service between Bowdoin and Airport stations, Blue Line riders are facing another disruption in their travel plans.

Beginning Sunday, May 22, and running through Wednesday, June 8, Blue Line train service will be suspended between Wonderland and Orient Heights stations to allow for repairs to the Suffolk Downs pedestrian bridge. Riders will be provided with free shuttle bus service between the stations all day and every day during the 18-day suspension.

This planned service disruption was originally scheduled to start May 12 and end May 29, but the work was postponed when a separate Blue Line project involving repairs to the Harbor Tunnel took 10 days longer to complete than anticipated due to problems replacing track and three separate derailments involving construction tool carts.

Now the T is under the gun for this project with a schedule that leaves little room for error. The repair of the Suffolk Downs Pedestrian bridge must be completed by June 9, just one day before work begins on the massive rebuild of the 100-year-old Sumner Tunnel. If the Blue Line project isn’t done by then, work will have to wait nearly two years because the renovation of the Sumner Tunnel isn't scheduled to be completed until winter 2023.

T riders can expect more service disruptions like this in the future. The MBTA adopted longer service suspensions so that work rebuilding the nation’s oldest transit system can be done as quickly as possible. Instead of taking years by just doing the work overnights and on weekends, T officials realized it could accomplish the same work in just weeks if it completely stopped service and offered shuttle buses in substitution. Entire stretches of the Green Line were shut down two summers ago to facilitate rebuilding of that line.

The T also is advising commuter rail passengers that shuttle buses are currently replacing Rockport Commuter Rail Line train service between Rockport and Orient Heights, as well as Newburyport Commuter Rail Line train service between Beverly and Orient Heights. All riders are asked to make sure they have boarded the correct shuttle bus at Orient Heights. And MBTA personnel will be on hand at Orient Heights to help direct riders to the right shuttle.