What to Know
- Traffic on the Mass. Pike was reduced by at least 25 percent the Monday following the construction's first day.
- Officials decided to work on the bridge because of its 75-year age.
- Construction on the Comm. Ave. Bridge that spans Interstate 90 is expected to end on Aug. 11.
Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials said Friday morning that they expect the Mass. Turnpike to return to full capacity by Monday for peak times in the area of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge project.
Construction for the bridge has heavily impacted traffic and caused the toll road to have just four lanes open.
"A lot of relief we expect to be on Monday morning for that next big milestone when the Turnpike's returned to full capacity," MassDOT Highway Administrator, Jonathan Gulliver, said.
Crews began working on the bridge on July 26 and expect to finish on Aug. 11. Traffic has been heavily impacted by the construction and officials warned commuters ahead of time that the project would cause significant delays. It took an estimated 80 minutes to get from Interstate 495 to the Prudential exit in Boston on Monday, the first rush hour day since the construction began.
Because the project has caused a four-lane closure on the Massachusetts Turnpike, Gulliver said they have seen a 25 to 30 percent decrease of traffic on the toll road.
"We really appreciate the traveling public whose taken our advice and done whatever they could to avoid the area," Gulliver said.
Commuters are encouraged to avoid the area as best as possible, find alternative routes or take public transportation. 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.
Memorial Drive will be closed to vehicles on Aug. 5.
Access to the Boston University Bridge remains closed to vehicles but open for pedestrians. 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.
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
Officials decided to work on the bridge because of its old age.
"We have to do this project," Gulliver said last week. "It's a nearly 75-year-old bridge and it's nearly at the end of its life."