BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced today, July 31, the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project is on schedule.
As as of 11 a.m., today, crews have installed 11 of the new girders on the eastbound side of the bridge, two lanes in each direction on I-90 in the Allston area were open for the Monday morning commute, and the MBTA Worcester/Framingham Commuter Rail line and Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited line were both open for weekday service.
“Our crews are working 24/7 to complete this major construction project as quickly and efficiently as possible and we appreciate the cooperation of the traveling public and local community during our accelerated construction operations,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, in a statement. “Members of the public should remember that the restrictions on I-90 and local roadways are ongoing, and if they are traveling today or through August 14, they should have a plan if they must travel on I-90 in Boston or along Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.”
“We advise travelers to continue to make smart choices on their travel and recognize that on I-90 there are fewer lanes than normal for drivers to use and the lanes of travel will vary during the construction project,” said Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We encourage the public to use, if possible, public transportation including the MBTA Commuter Rail, make smart decisions on the route to take or when to travel, and check some of the many technology tools that are available.”
The Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Project has been years in the planning and logistics are being deployed in such a way as to best to shorten the length of time the work will impact the public. MassDOT contractors will continue to work continuous shifts seven days a week and utilize Accelerated Bridge Construction techniques in order to reduce the overall construction duration and minimize the impact on travelers.
This project, which would take an estimated four to five years using conventional techniques with significant lane-takings and service disruptions, is scheduled for two short duration construction phases.
The eastbound side of the bridge deck of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and the MBTA Green Line B track area are being replaced between now and August 14 and in the summer of 2018, the westbound side of the bridge deck will be replaced.
In addition to a new bridge deck, the project will result in functional and safety improvements for vehicles, the B Line, for cyclists and for pedestrians.
The full project impacts of the Commonwealth Bridge Project are as follows:
- Commonwealth Avenue Users:
o Commonwealth Avenue (between Packard’s Corner and Kenmore Square) is closed to non-emergency and non-MBTA bus shuttle traffic (local access only) until 5:00 a.m., on August 14.
o See the “Commonwealth Avenue Closure Detour” on the Traffic Management page.
o Access is maintained for businesses and abutting properties.
- Boston University (BU) Bridge Users:
o The BU Bridge is closed to non-emergency vehicular traffic until 5:00 a.m., on August 14.
o See the “Boston University (BU) Bridge Closure Detour” on the Traffic Management page.
- I-90 (Mass Pike) Users:
o From 9:00 p.m., on July 28, to 5:00 a.m., on August 7:
o I-90 between the Allston Interchange and the Beacon Street Overpass in Boston will have no more than two lanes open in both directions.
o I-90 in this area will be further reduced to one lane in each direction during off-peak, weekend, and weekday overnight hours.
o The I-90 Eastbound on-ramp from Cambridge Street/Soldiers Field Road will be closed.
o The I-90 Westbound Exit 20 off-ramp to Brighton/Cambridge will be closed intermittently.
o See the “I-90 (Mass Pike) Ramp Closures Detour” on the Traffic Management page.
For MBTA Green B Line Users:
- The Green B Line in the area of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge has been replaced with shuttle buses between Babcock Street and Blandford Street Stations until 5:00 a.m., August 14. These buses have regular stops along the detour route for boarding/disembarking.
- For more information, please visit the Green Line page on the project website.
For MBTA Commuter Rail
- The Commuter Rail Framingham/Worcester Line will operate regular service on weekdays.
- On weekends, (July 29-30 and August 5-6), service will terminate at Boston Landing, where customers can take a shuttle to Reservoir Station on the Green Line D branch. Commuter rail riders will then be able to travel to the downtown Boston Green Line stations.
o Extra Green Line trains will run from Reservoir to Park Street to accommodate Commuter Rail passengers.
o There will be a special Boston Red Sox home game day bus shuttle service for the Worcester/Framingham commuter rail line. This shuttle will run between Boston Landing and Yawkey Station on the following Red Sox game days: 7/29, 7/30, 8/5, and 8/6. This Red Sox shuttle bus will depart from Boston Landing Station to Yawkey Station starting three hours before the start of each game and will operate from Yawkey Station to Boston Landing Station after these games, with departures starting 30 minutes after the conclusion of the ballgames.
- See the Commuter Rail page on the project website.
For Amtrak customers
- On Amtrak’s Lakeshore Limited Line, buses will replace trains between South Station and Albany, New York, during the weekends of July 29-30 and August 5-6.
Memorial Drive in Cambridge
- MassDOT has requested that the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) allow vehicular traffic on Memorial Drive in Cambridge on Sunday, July 30, and Sunday, August 6 to minimize impacts on local roadways in order to encourage safe access throughout the area. (Ordinarily, on Sundays in the summer, a section of Memorial Drive in Cambridge is closed to motor vehicles so that it can be used by pedestrians and cyclists.)
MassDOT Encourages Active Transportation
- There are recently installed pedestrian and bicycle wayfinding signage near Green Line shuttle bus stops on Commonwealth Avenue and in the area of Boston University to non-motorized travel especially for short trips. The signs list walking and biking distances to specific destinations. This is helping to optimize shuttle bus operations by shortening bus wait times and headways. In general, the public will find it a ten minute walk from where the B Line train service will terminate due to construction and from where the B Line train service will resume.