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Officials at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) are reminding members of the public that significant travel impacts will begin July 27 as part of the intensive construction operations to replace the westbound side of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge. Travelers are encouraged to avoid the local area while impacts and construction work is ongoing, seek alternate routes if possible, and make informed decisions on timing and mode of travel.
A section of Commonwealth Avenue as well as the Boston University Bridge were closed to vehicular traffic on the night of July 26, and MBTA bus detours for the CT2 and 47 routes went into effect. This will enable crews to carry out initial activities such as staging equipment and materials, and roadway milling. On July 27, the MBTA Green B Line were replaced by shuttle buses at the start of service and lane reductions on I-90 in Boston were to begin later in the evening.
Crews will start demolishing the westbound side of the bridge on the morning of Saturday, July 28. The MBTA Commuter Rail Worcester/Framingham line and the Amtrak Lake Shore Limited line will be replaced by bus shuttles throughout the weekend, and during the following weekend, in order to ensure adequate room for operations. The new westbound side of the bridge will then be constructed with steel beams, prefabricated concrete deck panels, and asphalt by August 11.
This $110 million bridge replacement project, which would take an estimated four to five years using conventional techniques with significant lane-takings and service disruptions, is scheduled for completion in 2019 under the accelerated plans. The westbound side of the bridge will be constructed this summer using three cranes that weigh 600 tons each. Crews will utilize this equipment to put in place 45 steel beams and 214 pre-fabricated concrete deck panels along with 680 cubic yards of concrete and 520 tons of hot mix asphalt.
The full upcoming travel impacts will be as follows:
Pedestrians and Bicyclists
- Pedestrians and bicyclists will have access across the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge on the eastbound side throughout construction.
- Download the Blue Bikes app on the App Store or Google Play to find a station near you. For a limited time, Blue Bikes is dropping their Single Trip Pass to $1 from July 26 – August 11, available in the Blue Bikes app.
- MassDOT is also partnering with the City of Boston to provide an additional temporary Blue Bikes station at Silber Way on Commonwealth Ave during the construction period.
- For more information, visit www.bluebikes.com.
- Commonwealth Avenue (between Packard’s Corner and Kenmore Square) will be closed to vehicular through traffic (local access only) from 7 p.m. on July 26 to 5 a.m. on Aug. 11.
- Access through this area will be maintained for local businesses and customers, residents, MBTA buses, emergency services, pedestrians, and bicyclists during this time.
- See the “Commonwealth Avenue Closure Detour” on the Traffic Management page.
Boston University (BU) Bridge
- The BU Bridge will be closed to vehicular and bus traffic from 7 p.m. on July 26, to 5 a.m. on Aug. 11. Access will be maintained for pedestrians and bicyclists only.
- See the “Boston University (BU) Bridge Closure Detour” on the Traffic Management page.
I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike
- From 9 p.m., on July 27, to 5 a.m., on Aug. 6, I-90 (between the Allston Interchange and the Beacon Street Overpass in Boston) will have no more than two lanes open in each direction during peak hours.
- I-90 in this area will be further reduced to one lane in each direction at various times during off-peak, weekend, and weekday overnight hours.
- The I-90 eastbound on-ramp from Cambridge Street/Soldiers Field Road will be closed during this entire period.
- The I-90 westbound Exit 20 off-ramp to Brighton/Cambridge will be closed intermittently.
- I-90 will fully restored to four lanes in both directions at 5 a.m., on Aug. 6.
- See the “I-90 (Mass Pike) Ramp Closures Detour” on the Traffic Management page.
- The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will allow vehicular traffic on Memorial Drive in Cambridge on Sunday, July 29, and Sunday, Aug. 5, in order to minimize impacts on local roadways and allow for safe and reliable travel throughout the area.
- DCR will add an additional Sunday closure of Memorial Drive in Cambridge this fall meaning vehicular traffic will not be allowed between Western Avenue and Mount Auburn Street from 11 a.m., to 7 p.m., on Sunday, Nov. 18.
- The additional “swing lane” on Route 1A southbound at the Sumner Tunnel will have extended hours so that it is opened at 3 p.m., on Friday, July 27, and will remain open through 5 a.m., Monday, July 30.
- The swing lane will then be opened daily from 1 p.m., through 10 p.m., between Monday July 30, and Thursday, Aug. 2.
- The swing lane will also be opened at1 p.m., Friday, August 3, and will remain open through 5 a.m., Monday, Aug. 6.
I-93 HOV Lane
- The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy will be open during the normal morning hours of 5 a.m., through 10 a.m., from Monday, July 30, through Friday, Aug. 3.
- The HOV lane will open early for the afternoon commute at 2 p.m., from Monday, July 30, through Thursday, Aug. 2, and will then open at 1 p.m., on Friday, Aug. 3.
MBTA Green B Line
- The Green B Line will be replaced with shuttle buses between Babcock Street and Blandford Street Stations from 5 a.m. on July 27, to 5 a.m., on Aug. 11. The MBTA will be providing regular service updates to customers.
- During the Green Line bus diversions, the MBTA will also be continuing work to replace Green Line track throughout Commonwealth Avenue. These operations are not occurring on the bridge and will not impact logistics or the bridge replacement process. This track work has been closely coordinated with the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project and is occurring at this time in order to minimize overall impacts on customers.
MBTA Commuter Rail
- On the weekends of July 28-29 and Aug. 4-5, bus shuttles will replace Commuter Rail service in this area.
- Free bus shuttles will replace Commuter Rail train service between Framingham and Wellesley Farms. After Wellesley Farms, the shuttle bus will then continue nonstop to Riverside, where riders can connect to the Green D Line.
- In addition to the local shuttles, express shuttle service will be available between Framingham and Riverside.
- During Weekday Service between July 30, and August 10, the Worcester Line Train 552 that departs Worcester Station at 8 a.m. will stop at Framingham Station at 8:32 a.m.
- The Worcester Line Train 551 that departs South Station at 7:35 p.m. will stop at Framingham Station at 8:08 p.m.
- Commuters are encouraged to utilize free parking at the Framingham State College parking lot. The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority will provide free shuttle bus service to and from Framingham State College in advance of the morning Framingham stop at 8:32 a.m., as well as all afternoon peak trains (beginning with the 3:30 p.m.train out of South Station, arriving in Framingham at 4:25 p.m., through the 7:35 p.m. Worcester express train from South Station, arriving in Framingham at 8:08 p.m.).
- MBTA Bus Routes CT2 and 47 will be detoured from their normal routes from 7 p.m. on July 26, to 5 a.m. on Aug. 11. These detours are expanded from the 2017 detour routes due to the closure of the Boston University Bridge this summer to all vehicles including MBTA buses.
- The Route 57 Bus will operate its normal route and will not make outbound stops in the construction area.
- See the “2018 MBTA CT2 and 47 Bus Detour Map” on the Traffic Management page.
- Amtrak’s Lakeshore Limited Line will be replaced by shuttle buses between South Station and Albany, NY for the weekends of July 28-29 and Aug. 4-5.
MassDOT asks for the community’s help to reduce traffic volume in the area as much as possible. MassDOT encourages the public to consider:
- REDUCE – Work with employers on flex time or telecommuting as an alternative to travel during this time period. Take your summer vacations during this time and avoid traveling through the area if at all possible
- REROUTE – Plan alternative travel routes around this construction area during the times mentioned.
- REMODE – Consider using alternate modes of transportation which may include public transit, walking or biking.
The Baker-Polito Administration appreciates the cooperation and patience of the traveling public as core transportation infrastructure is improved. Members of the public are encouraged to utilize the appropriate technology tools including mass511.com, our GoTime travel app, and other wayfinding resources to find the most appropriate route, mode, and timing of travel during our construction operations.
Individuals are encouraged to sign up for email notices to receive public meeting notices, construction updates and traffic alerts. The Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project website also contains specific details and maps and individuals can contact MassDOT with questions at: CommAveBridge@dot.state.ma.us.