BOSTON (WHDH) - The entire Blue Line will be free to ride during the upcoming planned closure of the Sumner Tunnel in Boston, state officials announced on Thursday. 

Already the site of closures on most weekends dating back to last year, the tunnel will be closed for a longer period of time from July 5 and Aug. 31 as crews continue work on a number of repairs, including work to restore the tunnel’s ceiling and install new lights. 

Free Blue Line service comes as part of a larger “comprehensive mitigation plan” from the state Department of Transportation that officials said aims to address travel impacts and provide alternative transit options during the tunnel closure. 

In Thursday’s announcement, officials detailed planned reduced cost water ferry options, reduced Commuter Rail fares, cheaper parking at MBTA and Commuter Rail parking lots and garages and discounted tolls, among other measures. 

 “We know the closure of the Sumner Tunnel will be a daily impact to those living, working, and traveling in this region,” said state Transportation Secretary and CEO Gina Fiandaca. “The Sumner Tunnel Restoration Project is a crucial investment in transportation infrastructure in the Commonwealth, and we are working hard to provide as many mitigation measures as possible to those impacted.”

State Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said residents and those traveling around the Sumner Tunnel during the upcoming closure should leave cars at home and utilize various modes of MBTA transportation if possible. 

In the same joint statement with MassDOT officials, new MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng said the T has been working to reduce Blue Line travel times ahead of the Sumner Tunnel project.

“We have the capacity needed on the Blue Line to serve our existing and new customers on this line, and I encourage those who can to take advantage of this free service in July and August,” Eng said. 

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