Construction Paused at Sumner Tunnel This Weekend Due to Expected MBTA Delays

Though currently undergoing repairs, the tunnel is safe to use, according to MassDOT

The Sumner Tunnel in Boston ahead of a major construction project.
Mass. Department of Transportation

After the first closure of the Sumner Tunnel aggravated traffic in Boston, construction work on the tunnel planned for this weekend has been suspended to avoid additional travel congestion amid MBTA delays, MassDOT Advisory said Friday.

The tunnel closed for repairs for the first time on June 11, extending travel times by up to 11 minutes. Construction had been scheduled this weekend from Friday at 11 p.m. to Monday at 5 a.m., part of a series of planned weekend closures during the Sumner Tunnel Restoration Project.

This change was announced after MBTA Orange and Green Line services near Haymarket were disrupted on Friday due to structural issues at the Government Center garage affecting support columns in the tunnels, the MBTA said. Travel times are expected to increase as a result, prompting officials to keep the Sumner Tunnel open to minimize traffic.

Though currently undergoing repairs, the tunnel is safe to use, according to MassDOT. The agency added that the structural issues at the parking garage do not affect the tunnel.

The weekend closures are expected to resume after July 4.

Traveling between downtown Boston and East Boston, including Logan International Airport, is about to become even more of a headache. A major, year-plus rehabilitation project in the Sumner Tunnel, which is in a state of “disrepair” 87 years after it opened as the first traffic tunnel in Massachusetts, is set to kick off Friday night.

The travel impacts from the tunnel closure are significant. When construction resumes, passengers flying out of Logan Airport are urged to leave an hour early if driving to the airport due to a buildup of traffic, Massport said Friday. Passengers should also use high-occupancy vehicle services such as the Logan Express Bus Service in order to minimize the number of vehicles on the highways.

More information about transportation to and from Logan Airport is provided on Massport's website. To find out more information on the Sumner Tunnel project visit this site.

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