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comm-ave-bridge-work-august-10-2017MassDOT crews and contractors are continuing to utilize accelerated methods and work 24/7 in order to complete the intensive construction operations on the eastbound side of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge that spans I-90 and the MBTA/Amtrak rail lines in Boston.

Work is on schedule and as of 3 p.m. today:  Crews have poured 354 cubic yards of concrete on the eastbound side of the bridge and put in place almost 2,400 linear feet of new rail and 11 new catenary poles for the MBTA’s Green Line.

By Monday, August 14: Service on the MBTA Green Line B-Branch at this location will resume, crews will restore access for private vehicles to Commonwealth Avenue and local roadways, and construction operations will transition from the intensive structure replacement work to completing finishing tasks such as installing curbing and sidewalk. These minor operations are expected to occur throughout the coming weeks and are not expected to significantly impact traffic or the local community.

“A great amount of consideration has gone into planning this major construction project and we are utilizing many alternative techniques including the “design-build” method where one entity designed this project and is carrying out the construction work” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.  “This method not only helps reduce the time needed to carry out this project but also promotes collaboration between the engineers, contractor, and MassDOT staff who are all working to complete our intensive construction operations by Monday, August 14.”

“Our crews and contractors are working diligently to complete the major construction activities on the eastbound side of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge so that vehicular travel as well as access along the MBTA’s Green Line can be restored on Monday, August 14,” said Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “After Monday, our work will consist of finishing work that will not significantly impact traffic and will allow us to complete minor operations such as building sidewalks, installing curbs, and conducting the final paving work.”

For the next several weeks, there will be short term, off-peak lane reductions on Commonwealth Avenue in the vicinity of the bridge. These are necessary for the contractor to carry out finishing work on sidewalks, curb setting, final paving, fencing, and utilities. Crews will carry out utility relocations and signal work during Stage 3 (between the two intensive construction windows).

Members of the public are encouraged to check transit schedule information to learn about bus shuttles and regular service:  www.mbta.com.  In addition, MassDOT’s free app, GoTime, (www.MassDOTgotime.com), has real-time travel time to specific destinations on major roads in the state.  Other resources to learn of real-time information include the following Twitter accounts:  @MassDOT @MBTA and @MBTA_CR.

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:

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 in some directions will encounter occasional minor detour routes, such as, where they are able to cross Commonwealth Avenue.
  • Some areas of Commonwealth Avenue near the construction zone have jersey barriers and fencing to protect the public from heavy construction equipment which is deployed and sometimes moving along the road.  As always, during the construction period, pedestrians and bicyclists will have full access across the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge on the westbound side.
  • Due to safety and logistic reasons, the temporary mid-block crossing between Carlton Street and St. Mary’s Street has been closed.  The western crosswalk at the Commonwealth Avenue/St. Mary’s intersection has been re-opened, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to cross Commonwealth Avenue at St. Mary’s Street under police detail control.
  • Eastbound bicyclists heading to the BU Bridge will cross Commonwealth Avenue at St. Paul Street to a shared bike/bus travel lane in the westbound roadway.  Bicyclists continuing eastbound will cross back to eastbound Commonwealth Avenue at St. Mary’s Street.
  • Westbound bicyclists will continue to use the existing westbound bicycle lanes.  There are no crossings between Amory Street and St. Mary’s Street.
  • As before, there will be portions of the route near the work zone where cyclists will have to walk their bicycles.
  • There are additional Hubway bike rental stations on Commonwealth Avenue during the shutdown (see below).

 For Drivers:

 Commonwealth Avenue Users:

  • 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.
  • See the “Commonwealth Avenue Closure Detour” on the Traffic Management page.
  • Access is maintained for businesses and abutting properties. 

 Boston University (BU) Bridge Users:

  • The BU Bridge is closed to non-emergency vehicular traffic until 5:00 a.m., on August 14.
  • See the “Boston University (BU) Bridge Closure Detour” on the Traffic Management page.
  • I-90 (Mass Pike) Users:
  • After August 7: There will be periodic, off-peak lane reductions on I-90 for short-term durations as needed during construction operations.

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 14These 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 Bus Users:

  • MBTA Bus Routes CT2 and 47 are detoured from the normal routes until 5:00 a.m., on August 14.
  • See the MBTA Bus page on the project website.
  • Route 57 Bus is operating its normal route.

 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:
  • Babcock Street
  • Silber Way
  • Hubway Ambassadors are assisting users at these temporary locations Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. through 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.
  • You can also 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 com, and download the new Hubway mobile app.

For more information, individuals are encouraged to:

  • Visit the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project website.
  • Download MassDOT’s free GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions by visiting: MassDOTgotime.com
  • Sign up for email notices to receive public meeting notices, construction updates and traffic alerts.
  • Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions on I-90 and other roads.
  • Visit mass511.com, which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Download Waze, the real-time traffic navigation app.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT because motor vehicle incidents which impact traffic flow are generally mentioned in tweets if they occur on the state’s major highways.  Follow the MBTA on Twitter for service alerts and other information: @MBTA and @MBTA_CR
  • Sign up on MassDOT’s website to receive regular communications about MassDOT projects: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/MADOT/subscriber/new
  • Watch this YouTube video showing how construction work will be conducted.

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