BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) reminds travelers that Interstate 90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) between the Allston Interchange and the Beacon Street Overpass in Boston 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 for a “dry run” of the traffic logistics that will be utilized for the upcoming Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project.
During this time, the eastbound on-ramp from Cambridge Street to I-90 and the I-90 westbound “U-Turn” to I-90 eastbound in Allston/Brighton will be closed. The westbound Exit 20 off-ramp will be closed in the early morning hours Sunday through the day. A detour will be in place for these ramps closures that will utilize Exit 16 in West Newton and drivers should also consider the MBTA’s Worcester/Framingham Commuter Rail line as an alternate for travel into the city this weekend.
“We encourage all travelers to be mindful of the lane reductions this weekend, avoid traveling on I-90 in this area if at all possible, take public transit including commuter rail, and utilize the appropriate technology tools to make informed decisions before heading out onto the roadways” said Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “This dry run, which will test the ‘crossover’ that will direct all vehicular traffic to either the eastbound or westbound sides of I-90, is an important and necessary step in our comprehensive preparation for construction operations that will occur this summer and will help ensure our crews and contractors are able to implement the full traffic logistics.”
The dry run, which will test the I-90 setup and traffic logistics that will be in place from, July 28, through Monday, August 7, will consist of crews putting in place a crossover or moveable “zipper barrier” that will allow personnel to direct all vehicular traffic to either the eastbound or westbound sides of the highways to allow work on different sections of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge that travels over I-90. Testing the zipper barrier months before the full construction operations begin is an important component of MassDOT’s commitment to ensuring the work this summer is completed in a timely and efficient manner.
During the dry run of I-90 logistics this weekend, there will be no service impacts or diversions to other forms of travel in this area as a result of this project including MBTA bus service, Commuter Rail, the Green Line B Branch, or Amtrak as there will be during the construction operations this summer.
On May 29, MassDOT activated variable message boards in the area to alert drivers of the upcoming impacts. In addition, a Real-Time Traffic Management System will be active throughout the dry run to provide motorists with travel time information through the work area. These boards are located at strategic decision points to allow drivers to make informed decisions; motorists should take note of these boards when traveling.
MassDOT asks for the community’s help to reduce traffic volume in the area as much as possible during the I-90 dry run and larger construction operations this summer. MassDOT encourages the public to consider:
• REDUCE – Work with employers on flex time or telecommuting as an alternative to travel during this time period.
• REROUTE – Plan alternative travel routes around this area
• REMODE – Consider using alternate modes of transportation which may include public transit, walking or biking.
For traffic and road conditions, drivers may use the following options to make decisions:
• Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.
• Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions on I-90 and other roads.
• Visit www.mass511.com, a website 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 that provides motorists with real-time traffic conditions across Massachusetts.
• 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.
The Commonwealth Avenue 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 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.
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.