BOSTON (WHDH) - Thousands of T riders are changing their commutes as Monday marked the first weekday closure of the Green Line’s E Branch, after the MBTA started its 16-day shutdown over the weekend for major maintenance work.

Work started on Saturday after the branch was suspended from Heath Street to Copley Station, with shuttle buses replacing rail service as crews began working on the tracks around the clock.

Through Aug. 21, the E Branch will remain closed as workers perform work that includes the installation of wayside equipment for the Green Line Train Protection System, which the MBTA said will help reduce the chances of train-on-train collisions.

The shutdown comes amid news that the Green Line will partly shut down between Government Center and the Union Square Station to install noise walls and repair a slow zone, while also accommodating work for the remainder of the Green Line Extension project.

MBTA officials said that a portion of the line needs to close between Aug. 22 and Sept. 18 to allow for the demolition of the privately owned Government Center garage, as well as for work on the new Medford Branch. The extension was set to open this summer, but has been pushed back to late November.

All the while, riders on on the Orange Line are bracing for the upcoming 30-day shutdown starting on Aug. 19.

Meanwhile, on the Red Line, nightly shuttle bus switches for part of the Braintree branch during the work week are entering their final leg, ending after Thursday night.

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