BOSTON (WHDH) – Commuters planning to take the Massachusetts Turnpike this week should still expect some major traffic trouble during the morning and evening commute, despite fairly reasonable drive times on Monday morning.
Due to construction on the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, the Mass. Pike will be reduced to two lanes in both directions starting Monday and it will last through Aug. 14.
“You’re in for a really long commute. Our modeling has suggested you could be seeing as much as a 90-minute delay if everybody who takes that road keeps coming that way,” said Jonathan Gulliver, Acting Highway Administrator.
Crews have been working around the clock to replace the bridge, but in the meantime, commuters need to plan ahead, MassDOT has continually stressed.
Commuters taking the “B” branch of the Green Line have boarded shuttles around the construction. Commonwealth Avenue and the Boston University Bridge have both been closed to traffic. Underneath the construction, the Mass. Pike will see lane closures in both direction.
“If you have to be somewhere, like the airport, leave early,” Gulliver said. “Make sure that you plan your trip.”
MassDOT said this kind of project would have previously taken 4-5 years to complete. The project to replace the inbound side is slated to last three weeks. The outbound side is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2018.
MassDOT said construction is on schedule and that demolition has already been completed on the eastbound side.
Monday’s commute was not as “hellish” as previously warned, but Gulliver said commuters should not assume a smooth ride moving forward.
“What we’re hoping is people don’t look at today as a successful commute and think it will be easy for them to do tomorrow,” Gulliver said. “It won’t. The same congestion and restrictions that we have in place are going to be here tomorrow.”
Officials have provided a complete list of closures and detours here.
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