Work crews will complete the last of the series of rapid bridge superstructure replacements on I-93 in Medford beginning on Friday, August 12th at 7:45 PM and continuing through Monday, August 15th at 5:00 AM. This weekend’s location involves the bridge on I-93 South over Route 16.
Throughout the course of the weekend, traffic on I-93 will be limited to two lanes in each direction over a 6-mile segment between Exit 28 (Sullivan Square) in Somerville and Exit 36 (Montvale Avenue) in Stoneham. Traffic on I-93 South will be directed through a median crossover near Spot Pond at the Stoneham/Medford line and then travel in counter-flow operation on the northbound barrel of the highway before traveling through a second median crossover near the Medford/Somerville line. I-93 directional traffic will be separated by a moveable “zipper lane” barrier. Access to and from many of the ramps on I-93 South in this area will be restricted.
The $98.1 million project to replace these fourteen bridge superstructures in Medford is funded through the Patrick-Murray Administration’s historic Accelerated Bridge Program, a $3 billion recovery effort to reduce the Commonwealth’s backlog of structurally-deficient bridges.
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Lane and ramp closures scheduled are listed after the break.
Route I-93 Northbound –
• On Friday August 12th, I-93 North will be restricted to two lanes at Exit 29 (Route 28/38 – Somerville/Everett) beginning with a single lane closure at 7:45 PM with a second lane closed shortly thereafter to initiate the installation of the zipper lane and median crossovers for activation by 10:00 PM. I-93 North will remain restricted to two travel lanes from Exit 29 to Exit 34 (Route 28 North) until 5:00 AM Monday, August 15th.
• Traffic on I-93 North will utilize the right two travel lanes. Traffic on I-93 South will travel in the adjacent left lanes, separated by the zipper barrier. The shoulder lane on I-93 North will be restricted to use by emergency vehicles and disabled vehicles. The use of the breakdown lane for travel will be allowed on I-93 North between the on ramp from Exit 33 (Route 28 – Roosevelt Circle) and the northerly project limit prior to Exit 34 (Route 28 North).
• All of the entrance and exit ramps on I-93 North between Exit 28 (Sullivan Square/ Charlestown) and Exit 34 (Route 28 North/Main Street) will remain open, with the exception of the entrance ramp from Routes 28/38 at Exit 29. Drivers affected by the closure of the on ramp to I-93 North at Exit 29 will be directed to use Route 28 North (Fellsway) and follow posted detour signing to access I-93 North at Exit 33 (Route 28 – Roosevelt Circle)
Route I-93 Southbound –
• On Friday August 12th, I-93 South will be restricted to two lanes south of Exit 35 (Winchester Highlands/Melrose) beginning with a single lane closure at 7:45 PM with a second lane closed shortly thereafter to initiate the installation of the zipper lane and median crossovers for activation by 10:00 PM. I-93 South will remain restricted to two lanes from Exit 35 to Exit 28 (Sullivan Square) until 5:00 AM Monday, August 15th.
• Through traffic on I-93 South will be directed through the median crossover near Spot Pond at the Stoneham/Medford line and then travel in counter-flow operation on the northbound side of the highway, separated from I-93 North traffic by the zipper barrier, before traveling through a second median crossover near the Medford/Somerville line. No shoulder lane will be available for traffic travelling on I-93 South within the majority of the 4.5-mile zipper lane. I-93 South will be restored to three lanes prior to Exit 28 (Sullivan Square).
• Immediately prior to the northern crossover, a local traffic lane will be provided on I-93 South to provide access to Exit 33 (Roosevelt Circle – Route 28/Fellsway) only. Drivers with local destinations via Exit 32 (Route 60/Salem Street – Medford Square/Malden); Exit 31 (Route 16/Mystic Valley Parkway) or Exit 30 (Route 38) should enter the local traffic lane and take Exit 33 and follow posted detour signing.
• The on ramps to I-93 South from Route 28 (Fellsway West) at Exit 34; Roosevelt Circle – Route 28/Fellsway at Exit 33; Route 60 (Salem Street) at Exit 32 and Route 16 East (Mystic Valley Parkway) at Exit 31 will be closed. Traffic seeking to access I-93 South via the affected ramps should follow posted detour signing to access I-93 South at Exit 28 (Sullivan Square).
• The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 South that starts north of Exit 28 will be closed throughout the weekend.
Traffic is expected to be extremely heavy throughout the duration of the weekend, particularly during daytime and early evening hours. MassDOT strongly recommends drivers that do not have a destination in the Medford/Downtown Boston area use alternate routes [I-495, I-95 (Route 128), Route 1 and I-90] to avoid the construction area.
Local Roadways & Waterways –
• Route 16 under I-93 will be closed to through traffic from Friday, August 12th at 6:00 PM through Monday, August 15th at 5:00 AM. East of I-93, local traffic seeking access to South Medford on the west side of I-93 via Route 16 will be directed to continue on Route 16 West (Mystic Valley Parkway) and use the Main Street off ramp. West of I-93, local traffic seeking access to the east side of I-93 via Route 16 will be directed to either use Route 38 South to reverse direction at Lombardi Street and use Route 28 North to Wellington Circle or to use Route 38 North to Main Street North to Clippership Drive (Ring Road) to Riverside Avenue East to Route 28 South to Wellington Circle.
• Route 28 (Fellsway) will be used as the primary local detour route for the duration of the weekend. Traffic signals along the corridor have been modified to address the increased traffic demands to the extent possible.
• In the event of a safety concern with traffic congestion at intersections along Route 28 (Fellsway) or at other critical intersections impacted by detour traffic, State and local police details will provide traffic control to keep vehicular traffic moving and to provide safe crossings for bicycles and pedestrians.
• Wellington Circle (Route 28 (Fellsway) at Route 16 (Mystic Valley Parkway)); the intersection of Route 28 (Fellsway) with Riverside Avenue; and the Medford Square area will experience traffic congestion on Friday evening and throughout the daytime/ early evening hours on Saturday and Sunday. MassDOT and the Massachusetts State Police request that drivers adhere to travel lane markings and yellow and red traffic signal displays to avoid blocking these intersections. Failure to follow this guidance will add to congestion and limit the ability of the traffic signals at these locations to operate effectively.
Local traffic on Route 28 (Fellsway) and within the Medford Square area and surrounding roadways is expected to be extremely heavy throughout the duration of the weekend, particularly during daytime and early evening hours. MassDOT strongly recommends drivers plan ahead and use the posted detour routes and/or public transportation whenever possible to reduce additional congestion.
MassDOT encourages drivers to allow extra time for their trips and to reduce speed and use extreme caution when traveling through or near all work zones.