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.
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The weekend closures are expected to resume after July 4.
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.