BOSTON (WHDH) - Long in the making, the nearly two-month shutdown of the Sumner Tunnel between East Boston and Downtown Boston got underway Wednesday. 

Just hours into the closure, many were already feeling effects on area roads. 

“I’m going to have to figure out my GPS now,” said one driver navigating the closure. “I don’t know where I’m going to go.”

The tunnel will be closed through the end of August as crews work nonstop to replace the structure’s ceiling, pavement and lighting. After previous weekend closures, the now ongoing shutdown is the longest such shutdown to date in a multi-year schedule of Sumner Tunnel repairs.

Crews closed the tunnel at midnight on Wednesday. Work quickly began within the tunnel, with new video from the state’s Department of Transportation already showing crews busy.

As crews continue to work, traffic is being diverted through Everett, Route One and the Ted Williams Tunnel. 

7NEWS tested the first option for the evening commute on Wednesday, driving through East Boston, Chelsea and over the Tobin Bridge. 

Traffic was heavy along the way, especially as the drawbridge connecting Chelsea and East Boston was lifting. 

An ambulance was in the area around the same time, trying to dodge the backup as commuters attempted to do the same.

For some, this was only the beginning of things to come.

“This week should be easy,” one driver said. “Next week is going to be a lot of traffic because everyone is on vacation.”

Officials have urged travelers to ditch the drive and utilize public transit. To that end, the Blue Line is running fare-free throughout the Sumner Tunnel shutdown. Fares on the Commuter Rail are reduced and there are free or reduced-fare harbor ferry rides being offered.

“Take this time off to really look at what your best routes are if you are going to be driving, but it’s also a really great time to explore those transit options,” state Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said. 

SKY7-HD was over East Boston on Wednesday, where drivers leaving Logan Airport appeared to be taking the brunt of delays. 

Nearly 39,000 drivers use the tunnel each day, including taxi driver Emiligo Youte. 

Youte said getting into Logan Airport hadn’t been the biggest problem to date Wednesday afternoon. The time it takes to get out, though, had been an issue. 

“It’s not good for the business,” Youte said.

Among rideshare drivers and others, meanwhile, many near Logan on said Wednesday it was too soon to determine what impact the tunnel closure will have on travel time. 

“This is a good week to try, because there is truly less traffic,” said limousine driver Mike Cook. “Come back here on Monday, Tuesday of next week and then we’ll see how much pain we’re in.”

See more information on alternate travel options here.

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