BOSTON – Demolition of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridget in Boston began this weekend, and that means that the MassPike will go to one lane eastbound and two lanes westbound this weekend.
Friday night, “the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and Boston University Bridge were closed to private vehicular traffic to allow our crews to continue preparing and staging construction equipment that will be used to demolish half of the existing bridge,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, in a statement. “We have had approximately 100 workers at the site during these initial hours of the project and our work thus far has consisted of removing the MBTA Green Line subway rail line and catenary poles over the bridge, and conducting work on the abutments and approach roadways. We appreciate the cooperation and patience of the traveling public as we replace this regionally important bridge using accelerated construction techniques in order to minimize the impact on the local communities.”
“Traffic logistics will be put in place on I-90 so that there will be just one lane of traffic heading in the eastbound direction into Boston, and two lanes of traffic heading westbound out of the city,” said Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Lane reductions on I-90 are necessary because this highway is under the bridge and we need to keep drivers safe and provide a location to deploy heavy equipment being used for the bridge replacement. We encourage every member of the public to use the appropriate technology tools to make informed decisions if they are traveling around Boston this weekend, give themselves extra time to reach their destinations, and reduce, reroute, or remode their travel if they are able.”
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 two short duration construction phases.
The eastbound side of the bridge deck of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and the Green line track area is 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.
In order to promote reliable travel and provide more information to the public during this project, MassDOT has also updated its “GoTime” travel time mobile app so that it now provides real-time information on traffic conditions through numerous construction zones on major highways throughout the Commonwealth including I-90 through the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge project area. Released in January 2017, MassDOT’s GoTime app allows drivers to view real-time travel information for more than 700 miles of highway that is also displayed on 146 roadway signs throughout the Commonwealth. The new app update shows travel information in work zones on 19 of some of the well-traveled routes across Massachusetts including I-93 and I-90. The updated app is available for download on Apple and Android Smartphones by searching “MassDOT GoTime.”
The full project impacts of the Commonwealth Bridge Project are as follows:
For Pedestrians and Bicyclists:
- Pedestrians and bicyclists are able to travel across a portion of 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 follow a minor detour route.
- There are 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) 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 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.
- 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.
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 located at:
o Babcock Street
o Silber Way
- Hubway Ambassadors are 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.