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Commonwealth Avenue Bridge construction, 2017

Commonwealth Avenue Bridge construction, 2017

MassDOT today announced that it will conduct intensive construction operations to replace the westbound side of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge over 15 ½ days from Thursday, July 26 through Saturday, August 11, as part of the ongoing $110 million bridge placement project.

These types of construction operations and the corresponding travel impacts were used during a 20 day period in summer 2017 when MassDOT successfully demolished and replaced the eastbound side of the bridge as well as MBTA Green Line infrastructure.

Between July 26 and August 11, there will be significant service impacts to all modes of transportation in the Boston University/Saint Paul Street neighborhood of Boston along Commonwealth Avenue, including MBTA, commuter rail and Amtrak customers, vehicles along Commonwealth Avenue and the Boston University Bridge, and traffic on I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike).

Detours and transit shuttles will be necessary for some station stops on the MBTA’s Green Line B Branch, MBTA Bus Routes CT2 and 47, the Worcester Commuter Rail Line, and Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited route. The impacts on all modes of transportation are a necessary part of having the MassDOT contractor work continuous shifts 24 hours a day and utilize Accelerated Bridge Construction techniques in order to reduce overall construction duration, minimize the impact on the traveling public and local community, and improve safety.

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 westbound side of the bridge will be constructed this summer using 3 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.

The full scope of the project will replace the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge superstructure and add functional and safety improvements to Commonwealth Avenue, such as additional dedicated bike lanes and extensive pedestrian improvements.

The upcoming travel impacts will be as follows:

Pedestrians and Bicyclists

  • Pedestrians and bicyclists will have full access across the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge on the eastbound side throughout construction.

Drivers

Commonwealth Avenue

  • 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 26 to 5:00 a.m. on August 11.
  • Access through this area will be maintained for local businesses and customers, residents, MBTA buses, emergency services, pedestrians, and bicyclists during this time.

 Boston University (BU) Bridge

  • The BU Bridge will be closed to vehicular and bus traffic from 7:00 p.m. on July 26, to 5:00 a.m. on August 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)

  • MassDOT will conduct a “dry run” of the I-90 traffic logistics the weekend of June 1-3. I-90 eastbound and westbound will be reduced to 2 lanes in each direction between the Allston Interchange and the Beacon Street Overpass from 9:00 p.m. on June 1, to 5:00 a.m. on June 3. The I-90 eastbound on-ramp from Cambridge Street/Soldiers Field Road will be closed this entire period. The I-90 westbound Exit 20 off-ramp to Brighton/Cambridge will be closed intermittently.
  • From 9:00 p.m., on July 27, to 5:00 a.m., on August 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 5:00 a.m., on August 6.

Memorial Drive

  • MassDOT has requested that the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) allow vehicular traffic on Memorial Drive in Cambridge on Sunday, July 29, and Sunday, August 5, in order to minimize impacts on local roadways and allow for safe and reliable travel throughout the area.

MBTA Green B Line

  • The Green B Line will be replaced with shuttle buses between Babcock Street and Blandford Street Stations from 5:00 a.m. on July 27, to 5:00 a.m., on August 11. The MBTA will be providing regular service updates to customers.

 MBTA Commuter Rail

  •  The Commuter Rail Framingham/Worcester Line will operate regular service on weekdays.
  • On the weeks of July 28-29 and August 4-5, bus shuttles will replace Commuter Rail service in this area. Details regarding these bus diversions are being finalized.

 MBTA Bus

  • MBTA Bus Routes CT2 and 47 will be detoured from their normal routes from 7:00 p.m. on July 26, to 5:00 a.m. on August 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.

Amtrak

  • 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 August 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 we improve and strengthen our transportation system and core infrastructure. The Baker-Polito Administration has invested over $3.3 billion in highway transportation projects since January 2015, and this fiscal year, will invest over $1.5 billion in upgrading our roads, bridges, intersections, and multi-modal pathways.

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.

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