‘Hellish, disruptive’ Boston bridge project begins

BOSTON (WHDH) - A “hellish,” “disruptive,” weekslong construction project got underway Wednesday night in Boston, which is expected to cause traffic nightmares through mid-August.

MassDOT officials on Tuesday warned commuters to stay away from the area near the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge.

“If you don’t need to be here, don’t come anywhere near the area,” Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack said.

Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver called the bridge replacement project “by far the most disruptive” project that will take place on Massachusetts roads this summer.

Workers will replace the eastbound section of the bridge that runs over the Mass Pike. Officials say the 50-year-old bridge is structurally deficient.

Construction officially began Wednesday night at 9 p.m. and it will last for three weeks. Shuttle buses will replace Green Line trains between Blanford and Babcock. Starting Thursday, Commonwealth Avenue will close to traffic from Packards Corner to Kenmore Square.

The Mass Pike will be reduced to two lanes during the day. After 7 p.m. and on the weekends, the highway will be reduced to a single lane.

Pollack warned commuters to expect significant travel delays and stressed the importance of allowing extra travel time.

Construction is expected to wrap up by Aug. 14 due to accelerated bridge building techniques.

“While it will be a hellish three weeks, if we weren’t using the accelerated bridge techniques, it would be a hellish 3, or 4, or 5 years,” Pollack said.

The westbound side of the bridge will be replaced next summer. Biking and walking will be permitted on that side during the construction.

For more information, visit the MassDOT website.


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