BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is reminding the public that travel impacts will begin this week throughout the Boston University/Saint Paul Street neighborhood of Boston along Commonwealth Avenue due to the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project.
Drivers on Commonwealth Avenue, the BU Bridge and I-90 will see lane closings or reductions. Customers of the MBTA Worcester/Framingham Commuter Rail Line, Green Line B and Amtrak Lake Shore Limited will also be impacted during the construction phase.
The Commonwealth Bridge Replacement Project this summer involves replacing the eastbound bridge deck which carries motor vehicles on it and trolleys for the MBTA’s Green Line B branch. Under the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge are I-90 travel lanes and track used by Amtrak and the MBTA Worcester/Framingham commuter rail line.
“Starting the evening of Wednesday, July 26, when buses replace subway service for several stops of the MBTA’s Green Line B Branch near Boston University, there will be significant impacts to the users of several transit options and to drivers on local roads and major nearby highways,” said Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We have taken numerous steps to encourage walking with the placement of wayfinding signs, to educate transit users about special bus shuttles, in adding additional Hubway bicycle stations near the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and by getting the word out to drivers who travel in this area. We encourage members of the public to reduce, reroute, and remode their travel and visit www.mass.gov/MassDOT/commavebridge to learn more about getting to their destination in a reliable manner during these construction operations. In addition, the public is encouraged to get real time information by following the MassDOT and MBTA Twitter accounts.”
MassDOT’s logistics for the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Project 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 work continuous shifts 24 hours a day 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 completion in 2019 under the accelerated plans. The eastbound side of the bridge deck of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge is being replaced this summer 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 to Commonwealth Avenue, such as additional dedicated bike lanes and extensive pedestrian pathway improvements.
The full project impacts will be as follows:
For Pedestrians and Bicyclists:
- Pedestrians and bicyclists will have full access across the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge on the westbound side throughout construction this summer.
- Bicyclists heading north and south between Mountfort/Essex Street and the BU Bridge will follow a minor detour route.
- There will be additional Hubway bike rental stations on Commonwealth Avenue during the shutdown (see below).
- Commonwealth Avenue Users:
o Commonwealth Avenue (between Packard’s Corner and Kenmore Square) will be closed to vehicular through traffic (local access only) from 7:00 p.m., on July 27, to 5:00 a.m., on August 14.
o See the “Commonwealth Avenue Closure Detour” on the Traffic Management page.
o Access will be maintained for emergency vehicles, businesses and abutting properties.
- Boston University (BU) Bridge Users:
o The BU Bridge will be closed to non-emergency vehicular traffic from 7:00 p.m., on July 27, to 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 be reduced to 2 lanes in both directions.
o I-90 in this area will be further reduced to one lane in each direction during off-peak, 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 will be replaced with shuttle buses between Babcock Street and Blandford Street Stations from 9:00 p.m., on July 26, to 5:00 a.m.,August 14.
- 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 on the Green Line D branch.
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 andAugust 5-6.
For MBTA Bus Users:
- MBTA Bus Routes CT2 and 47 will be detoured from the normal routes from 7:00 p.m., on July 27, to 5:00 a.m., on August 14.
- See the MBTA Bus page on the project website.
- Route 57 Bus will operate its normal route.
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. On Sundays in the summer, a section of Memorial Drive in Cambridge is normally closed to motor vehicles so that it can be used by pedestrians and cyclists.
MassDOT Encourages Active Transportation
- There will be 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. This will help 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.
Additional Hubway Stations
- MassDOT is partnering with Hubway to provide additional temporary Hubway stations on Commonwealth Avenue during the construction period so the public can rent a bike. These stations are to be located at:
o Babcock Street
o Silber Way
- Hubway Ambassadors will be assisting users at these temporary locations Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m.though 10:00 a.m. and from 4:00 p.m., though 7:00 p.m., providing additional bikes on a first-come, first-serve basis. All existing Hubway stations along Commonwealth Avenue and the rest of the Hubway service area will continue to be operational.
For New Hubway Users
- Download the brand new Hubway mobile app, available for iPhone and Android.
- Use the app to find a station near you.
- Starting soon, you’ll also be able to get a pass via the app (only $1 for a single trip or save $20 on a full annual membership during the shutdown.)
For more information, visit thehubway.com, and download the new Hubway mobile app.
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. Avoid traveling through the area, if at all possible
- REROUTE – Plan alternative travel routes around this construction area
- REMODE – Consider using alternate modes of transportation including public transit, walking or biking.