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image002-4The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has started demolishing the eastbound section of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge that spans I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) and the railroad tracks in Boston, and will continue these operations through the weekend and then remove logistics so that two lanes in each direction on I-90 and the MBTA Commuter Rail and Amtrak Lake Shore Limited will be open and in service  for the Monday morning commute.

“Our work zone is setup with one lane of travel eastbound on I-90, and two lanes of travel westbound, allowing our crews the necessary room to perform demolition operations on the bridge,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Work crews will continue demolishing the eastbound side of the bridge throughout Saturday and Sunday so that we can then begin installing the new prefabricated beams and girders as part of our accelerated operations on this major construction project.”

“We continue to advise travelers to be mindful of traffic delays and congestion and give themselves extra time to reach their destination if they are traveling along I-90 or throughout the Commonwealth Avenue/Boston University region,” said Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “For the Monday morning commute and during weekday rush hours, there will be two lanes in each direction on I-90.  Heavy congestion is expected meaning commuters should plan ahead and consider alternate forms of transportation including the MBTA Worcester/Framingham Commuter Rail line if they are traveling from points west into Boston. We encourage all travelers to utilize all the available technology tools at their disposable and make the best decision on route, mode, and timing of travel before they head out onto the roadways during out intensive construction work.”

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.

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 stationson Commonwealth Avenue during the shutdown (see below). 

For Drivers: 

  • 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 pageon 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.

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.

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 pageon the project website.
  • Route 57 Bus is operating 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.  (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. 

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 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.

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.

 

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