Mass. Pike Lane Reductions Set for Comm. Ave. Bridge Demo

Demolition of the westbound side of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge is set to begin on Saturday, complete with lane closures on the Mass. Pike.

The portion of the Mass. Pike that goes underneath the bridge will be reduced from eight lanes to three or four, depending on the time of day. By 5 a.m. on Monday morning, the hope is to have two lanes running on each side of the Pike, according to Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver.

"We'll move it from the three-lane configuration it's at now to a four-lane configuration," Gulliver said.

Phase 2 of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project began on Thursday, and the effects will be felt by both commuters and pedestrians alike. Pedestrians and cyclists can get by now in a limited fashion.

"We really expect Saturday morning to be somewhat chaotic," Gulliver said. "If you can, avoid this area altogether. If you have to travel through the area, meak sure you understand the detours. It's complicated and it impacts all modes of travel."

Travel on Interstate 90, Commonwealth Avenue, the Boston University Bridge and several branches of the MBTA will be affected by the demolition -- specifically, the T's Green "B" Line, along with several bus routes and the commuter rail line between Worcester on Boston. Shuttle busses will be offered between Babcock and Blandford streets.

Saturday and Sunday, as well as Aug. 4 and 5, shuttle buses will replace Commuter Rail service between Framingham and Wellesley Farms. Buses will continue on from Wellesley Farms non-stop to Riverside Station, where riders can connected to the Green "D" Line.

"We have to do this project," Gulliver said. "It's a nearly 75-year-old bridge and it's nearly at the end of its life."

The I-90 westbound off-ramp at Exit 20 towards Brighton and Cambridge will be close intermittently during the project, while the I-90 eastbound on-ramp from Cambridge Street and Soldiers Field Road will be closed through Aug. 6.

"I just don't really like loud noises, but I mean that was like a lot of banging," said one resident. "It's definitely not pleasant, but if they have to do it, they have to do it."

"It doesn't bother me," said another resident. "I'm from New York City, so I'm used to the noise."

A full list of closures can be found here.

Construction on the bridge is expected to last through Aug. 11.

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