What to Know
- Although traffic on the Mass. Pike was reduced at least 25 percent, there were still "significant delays" Monday morning.
- It took an estimated 80 minutes to drive from Interstate 495 to the Prudential exit in Boston Monday morning.
- Construction on the Comm. Ave. Bridge that spans Interstate 90 will end on Aug. 11.
Although overall traffic on the Massachusetts Turnpike decreased Monday morning as drivers found alternative routes into Boston amid the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge project construction, there were still "significant delays" getting into the city and MassDOT officials warn traffic will be just as bad during the evening commute.
Monday saw the first weekday rush hour since lanes were reduced as a result of the construction project, which started July 26. Since its commencement, officials have warned commuters that the project will result in massive delays.
Massachusetts Department of Transportation highway administrator Jonathan Gulliver said officials have seen a 25 to 30 percent reduction in Mass. Pike traffic, which travels underneath the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge.
Here’s a look at the work underway on Comm Ave Bridge construction. #MassPike lanes reduced. Drivers told to avoid area, take T, and give themselves extra time for this AM commute. @NBC10Boston @NECN pic.twitter.com/5dZYqGjAkY— Katelyn Flint NBC10 Boston (@KFlintNBCBoston) July 30, 2018
"Even though there has been that big of a decrease on the turnpike, we are seeing significant delays in certain portions of the Pike coming in from the west, so people can expect for that to continue throughout the week and we're also expecting to see similar delays gettig out of the city tonight," he said.
Drivers have been warned to avoid the Mass. Pike throughout the duration of the construction project, which is scheduled to wrap up Aug. 11. Anyone who must travel through the area is being told to expect delays and detours.
"It's complicated, it impacts all modes of travel," Gulliver said.
The Mass. Pike has been reduced from eight lanes to four in total during peak travel hours as a result of the construction. In off-peak hours, lanes will be reduced to one going out of the city and two going eastbound.
Based on last year’s experience of replacing the east side of the bridge, officials believe commuters should give themselves an additional 30 minutes to travel through the area. However, it took an estimated 80 minutes to go from Interstate 495 to the Prudential exit in Boston on Monday morning.
MassDOT officials urge commuters to take the Green Line D Branch or the Commuter Rail if they are traveling into the city from the west. The Green Line in the immediate area will offer numerous shuttles to get through the construction zone.
Roads near construction will remain accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. However, officials warn them to take caution since they described the area as a "very active work site." An additional blue bike station was added at Silber Way, with single trip passes costing just $1 in an effort to ease congestion.
Officials spent five years planning the construction and studied when it would likely be the least disruptive. Crews chose the dates for construction after studying when the area would likely see the least amount of traffic and host events.