BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) today announced that between Wednesday, July 26 and Monday, August 14, there will be significant service impacts to all modes of transportation in the Boston University/Saint Paul Street neighborhood of Boston along Commonwealth Avenue, for Amtrak, MBTA and commuter rail customers, BU Bridge vehicles and 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, with future construction activities and service impacts expected in the summer of 2018. 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 pathway improvements.

The project impacts will be as follows:

I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike)

• I-90 between the Allston Interchange and the Beacon Street Overpass will be reduced to 2 lanes in both the eastbound and westbound directions from 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 2, through 5 a.m. on Monday, June 4. This will allow MassDOT and its contractor to conduct necessary preparation activities and a “dress rehearsal” of the I-90 traffic logistics which will be implemented weeks later. The eastbound on-ramp from Cambridge Street will be closed and the westbound Exit 20 off-ramp will also be closed at different periods of time.

• I-90 between the Allston Interchange and the Beacon Street Overpass will be reduced to 3 lanes in both the eastbound and westbound directions beginning on Friday, July 7 to allow for preparation operations, major equipment to be put in place for the construction activities starting later in the month, and a crane to be built in the median of I-90.

• I-90 between the Allston Interchange and the Beacon Street Overpass will be reduced to 2 lanes in both the eastbound and westbound directions during peak periods from 9:00 p.m. on Friday, July 28, through 5:00 a.m. on Monday, August 7. The eastbound on-ramp from Cambridge Street will be closed and the westbound Exit 20 off-ramp will also be closed at different periods of time.

o Throughout the construction activities from 9:00 p.m. on Friday, July 28, through 5:00 a.m. on Monday, August 7, a “crossover” will be in place on I-90 using traffic channelization equipment, such as zipper barrier, line striping, and variable message boards to direct traffic to one side of the highway.
o From 9:00 p.m. on Friday, July 28, through 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 2 both eastbound and westbound traffic will be on the westbound side of I-90. From 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 2 through 5:00 a.m. on Monday, August 7 both eastbound and westbound traffic will be on the eastbound side of I-90. This “crossover” is necessary to allow MassDOT crews and its contractor to conduct construction activities on the bridge above I-90. During the June “dress rehearsal” this “crossover” will be implemented and traffic will be observed.
• I-90 between the Allston Interchange and the Beacon Street Overpass will then be opened to 3 lanes in both the eastbound and westbound directions from 5:00 a.m. on Monday, August 7, through 5:00 a.m. on Monday, August 28 to allow the safe removal of major equipment and construction logistics from the work zone.

• By Monday, August 28, I-90 will return to its full 4 lane configuration in each direction after the conclusion of these removal activities.

Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and Boston University Bridge (Local Traffic)

• Commonwealth Avenue eastbound and westbound will be closed to through private vehicular traffic between Brighton Avenue/Packard’s Corner and Kenmore Square from 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 27, through 5:00 a.m. on Monday, August 14. Access through this area will be maintained for local businesses and customers, residents, MBTA buses, emergency services, pedestrians, and bicyclists during this time.

• The Boston University (BU) Bridge will be closed to non-emergency and non-transit motor vehicles from 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 27, through 5:00 a.m. on Monday, August 14. Access will be maintained for MBTA buses, emergency services, pedestrians and bicyclists.

MBTA Service Impacts

• Buses will replace rail service on the MBTA Green Line B Branch from Babcock Street to Blandford Street Stations from 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26, through 5:00 a.m. on Monday, August 14. The MBTA will be providing regular service updates to customers.

• The MBTA Route 47 and CT2 buses will detour from their normal routes and potentially experience delays from 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 27, through 5:00 a.m. on Monday, August 14. Users of the Route 57 bus should also expect possible delays during this time period.

• The MBTA’s Worcester Commuter Rail Line will not operate trains between South Station and the future Boston Landing Commuter Rail Station on the weekends of July 29-30 and August 5-6. Bus shuttles will run for Worcester Commuter Rail Line customers between the future Boston Landing Commuter Rail Station and the MBTA’s Reservoir Station on the Green Line D Branch during these weekends.

• Bus service will be provided between the Boston Landing Commuter Rail Station and the Yawkey Station during Boston Red Sox games.

Amtrak Service Impacts

• Buses will replace Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited line service between Albany, New York, and South Station on the weekends of July 29-30 and August 5-6.
The full service impacts will be posted on the project website: www.mass.gov/massdot/CommAveBridge. Detour routes and maps will also be made available online and provided to transit customers.

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 during the times mentioned.
• REMODE – Consider using alternate modes of transportation which may include public transit, walking or biking.

Public Meetings

MassDOT appreciates the public’s patience during this important construction project which is being undertaken to replace deteriorated highway infrastructure and will host three initial public information meetings to inform residents and business owners of specific details and to answer questions about the project. Future meetings will be held in the weeks immediately before the start of construction operations and the first three public meetings are as follows:

Monday, April 24, 6:30 p.m.
Boston University’s Jacob Sleeper Auditorium (CGS 129)
871 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

Thursday, April 27, 6:30 p.m.
Boston University’s Jacob Sleeper Auditorium (CGS 129)
871 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

Wednesday, May 3, 6:30 p.m.
Framingham Memorial Building (Town Hall), Blumer Room (Lower Level)
150 Concord Street, Framingham

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.