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fullsizerender-4MassDOT is pleased to announce that at 5 a.m., today, the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge reopened to vehicular traffic and by mid-day today all lanes on the Boston University Bridge are scheduled to re-open.  On Friday, August 10, the MBTA Green Line B bus shuttles over the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge were phased out after trains resumed normal service schedules yesterday afternoon on the B Line corridor.

“I am very proud of the work done to deliver this project on schedule,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.  “Hundreds of hours of engineering went into thinking about how the construction could be done in such a way as to allow the public to still get around by bike, on foot, using the MBTA, by Amtrak and by vehicle.  Dozens of meetings were held with the business community, municipal leaders and other stakeholders to talk about travel impacts.  All of the pre-planning and design elements were thoroughly vetted and then the logistics were implemented in sequence.  This project is an example of the Baker-Polito Administration delivering on core infrastructure improvements which are successful due to smart investment strategies, thorough planning, the patience of the public and the dedication of management and crews to meeting milestones.”

Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver added, “We’d like to thank the traveling public.  For the second year in a row, people who could stay away did and we greatly appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.  I’d also like to recognize officials with the cities of Boston and Cambridge and the Town of Brookline for helping us with planning and getting the word out to the public that everyone should try to avoid this work zone and plan routes around this bridge deck project.  Our crews had plenty of room to work during intensive construction shifts since the local area had less traffic congestion than usual.  When we launched the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge westbound demolition and replacement project July 26 we hoped that the well-planned logistics would fall into place so that this major intersection and thoroughfare could open 15 and a half days later and that day is today.  While some finish work is left to be done, and additional traffic impacts may occur in off-peak hours, the public can now travel through this area and life can get back to normal for local residents and business owners.”

“A project of this magnitude does not get done without such an incredible amount of cooperation and coordination involving this many agencies, municipalities, institutions, and businesses,” said MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramírez. “While there certainly were impacts as the construction took place, we want to express our gratitude to all of our customers, regardless of their mode of travel, for their patience during this successful bridge replacement.”

On Friday, August 10, the MBTA Green Line B branch phased out bus shuttles between Blandford and Babcock stations which had been implemented daily since July 26.  B Line train service is now running on normal schedules.

The project also meant that on select weekend days since July 26, some MBTA Worcester Line Commuter Rail passengers and customers of the Amtrak Lake Shore Limited route had to ride bus shuttles between some station stops.  Meanwhile, I-90 Allston lanes of travel were reduced in half due to the project during peak travel times, from July 27 until Sunday, August 5.

While the major westbound construction activities on the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge are now compete, members of the public are advised to continue to use caution in the days and weeks ahead as final tasks still will occur in off-peak hours.  These minimally impactful finishing tasks may require a lane closure in low-volume travel periods.  Remaining work includes completing sidewalks, final pavement and markings, and finishing off a parapet wall and other items.

The $110 million Commonwealth Bridge replacement project, which would take an estimated four to five years using conventional techniques with significant lane-takings and service disruptions, is scheduled for full completion in 2019 under the accelerated plans. The eastbound side of the bridge was demolished and replaced in the summer of 2017.  This summer’s work to demolish and replace the westbound side of the bridge began July 26 and finished today.  For the work this summer, crews utilized 3 cranes and put in place 45 steel beams, 214 pre-fabricated concrete deck panels, 680 cubic yards of concrete and 520 tons of hot mix asphalt.

The MBTA used the construction period this summer for essential core infrastructure improvements along the Green Line B track corridor.  This track work was closely coordinated with MassDOT and timed to be done when buses replaced Green Line trains in order to minimize the impact on transit customers.

This project added new non-vehicular infrastructure to improve travel through this area by pedestrians and cyclists.  For example, work this summer has meant that the westbound side of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge now has a 17 foot wide sidewalk and there is now a bike travel lane on the westbound deck between vehicle parking spaces and the sidewalk.

Learn more information on the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Project web page.

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