Sumner Tunnel

Boston's Sumner Tunnel closed for the next month

The tunnel shut down at midnight on July 5 and will remain fully closed to traffic until Aug. 5.

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The Sumner Tunnel in Boston is closed for the next month, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is encouraging motorists in the city to "Ditch the Drive" by taking public transportation, including the Blue Line, which is free for riders during the tunnel closure.

About 39,000 drivers use the tunnel every day. The important artery connects East Boston to the North End via Route 1A south — taking vehicles from Logan Airport to Boston/Interstate 93.



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Now, those drivers will have to find a different option for the next 30 days.

The tunnel shut down at midnight on July 5 and will remain fully closed to traffic until Aug. 5. This is the second summer in a row that the tunnel is facing an extended closure as part of a $160 million renovation project.

"I want to stress: this will be impactful. Even though this is during a time of year when traffic volumes are low, this is an area that is very difficult to navigate and we know it will cause regional traffic congestion," said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver.

This summer's work will focus on demolishing and repairing the tunnel's deck and road surface. Once the work is complete, it will extend the safe service life of the Sumner Tunnel for at least 50 years.

Ahead of the Sumner Tunnel's next major shutdown, from July 5-Aug. 5, East Boston residents are not happy, though transit advocates say the state is doing a good job with the maintenance.

During the shutdown, subway, Commuter Rail, bus and ferry services are implementing fare-free and reduced fare options, according to MassDOT.

Parking costs at MBTA and Commuter Rail lots will be reduced, tolls for residents will be discounted and additional transportation options will be available for travelers to and from Boston Logan International Airport, officials said.

"We understand that the impact from this closure will be considerable for those who live and work in the area and need to travel in and out of Boston," Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt previously said. "In recognition of that, we are providing as many options as possible to 'Ditch the Drive' and find alternative ways to move about the area."

To ensure public safety during the Sumner Tunnel closure, there will be two ambulances stationed in East Boston, as well as rotating ambulances to support day, evening and night shifts, MassDOT said.

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