BOSTON (WHDH) - East Boston businesses say plans to close the Sumner Tunnel for nine months have already severely affected their ability to make deliveries.
During the first shutdown last weekend, drivers for Spinelli’s Ravioli and Pastry shop faced 300% increases in travel time, according to operations specialist Celeste Ribeiro Hewitt.
“Most of our customers are within 45 minutes from here, and so those travel times tripled. You know, doubled and tripled in terms of going out and coming back,” Hewitt said. “We service all of Eastern Massachusetts and New England. And so, naturally, Sumner Tunnel is a big amenity for us.”
The tunnel is being closed for extensive repairs, and is heavily used when open. That means that delivery drivers not only have to factor in new routes, but those routes being jammed with fellow motorists, Hewitt said.
“Not only are we having to try to find a workaround, and find alternatives for the Sumner Tunnel, we also have to find a workaround to everybody else who’s working around the Sumner Tunnel,” Hewitt said. “We just had to be extra proactive; get an earlier start, and really be very strategic about how we were going to be using our drivers.”
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