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MassDOT Bracing for First True Test of Boston Tunnel Closure




Massachusetts transportation officials continue to urge drivers to “skip the ride” to avoid traffic created by the eight-week closure of Boston’s Sumner Tunnel. Construction on the inside of the tunnel has been ongoing since last week, and the tunnel closure will continue throughout the tunnel. the beginning of September. While road congestion was relatively light at the start of the tunnel closure, state highway officials expect the coming week to provide the true test. “I think Tuesday is going to be the big test,” said Jonathan Gulliver, MassDOT Highway Administrator. “Especially Monday morning traffic is usually light. Monday afternoon is when things start to pick up. Our heaviest travel days of the week, right now, are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There̵[ads1]7;s both morning and afternoon commutes. Friday afternoon is the commute . also pretty, pretty tough.”Even with fewer commuters on the road last week, traffic was bumper-to-bumper in the Ted Williams Tunnel as people looked for alternatives. “With the summer tunnel closed it means a third of our main roads into the city from the North Shore are now out of service,” Gulliver said. “This is especially impactful for people coming from East Boston, from north of the city and from Logan Airport.” In addition to free rides on the Blue Line, the MBTA also offers discounted parking in parking lots along the line. Ferry rides are also being discounted as another option.” Congestion coming in from the north is bad even when the Sumner Tunnel isn’t closed, so we hope this will give people an opportunity to get on a boat, get on a bus, get on a train, get on a subway and get into Boston and discard the drive,” said Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll.” . “They will probably continue.” Other diversions were implemented to help with handling traffic at the Tobin Bridge, she added. The Sumner Tunnel normally carries vehicles on Route 1A south from Logan International Airport and East Boston to the North End and downtown areas. It was originally built in 1934, and state officials say it now needs a complete overhaul. Ventilation, drainage, safety and fire suppression systems will all be upgraded to state-of-the-art during the closure, the state said. Gulliver said, as of Sunday, work. crews have removed 100% of the false ceiling. “We are transitioning to the next stage of the work, which will be chipping out concrete and preparing the precast arch structure,” Gulliver said. “This phase will last the rest of the summer. It is a big phase for us.” Gulliver said construction workers will start from the center of the tunnel and work their way out.

Massachusetts transportation officials continue to urge drivers to “skip the ride” to avoid traffic created by the eight-week closure of Boston’s Sumner Tunnel.

Construction of the inside of the tunnel has been ongoing since last week, and the closure of the tunnel will continue until the beginning of September.

While road congestion was relatively light at the start of the tunnel closure, state highway authorities expect the coming week to provide the true test.

“I think Tuesday is going to be the big test,” said Jonathan Gulliver, MassDOT Highway Administrator. “Especially Monday morning traffic is usually light. Monday afternoon is when things start to pick up. Our heaviest travel days of the week, right now, are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There’s both morning and afternoon commutes. Friday afternoon is the commute . also pretty, pretty tough.”

Even with fewer commuters on the road last week, traffic was bumper-to-bumper in the Ted Williams Tunnel as people looked for alternatives.

“With the summer tunnel closed it means a third of our main roads into the city from the North Shore are now out of service,” Gulliver said. “This is especially impactful for people coming from East Boston, from north of the city and from Logan Airport.”

In addition to free rides on the Blue Line, the MBTA also offers discounted parking in parking lots along the line. Ferry trips are also discounted as another option.

“Congestion coming in from the north is bad even when the Sumner Tunnel isn’t closed, so we hope this will give people an opportunity to get on a boat, get on a bus, get on a train, get on a subway and get into Boston and skip the drive,” said Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll.

“There were some diversions implemented to ease airport traffic,” Fiandaca said of the first day of the closure. “They will probably continue.”

Other diversions were implemented to help manage traffic at the Tobin Bridge, she added.

The Sumner Tunnel normally carries vehicles on Route 1A south from Logan International Airport and East Boston to the North End and downtown areas. It was originally built in 1934, and state officials say it now needs a complete overhaul.

Ventilation, drainage, security and fire suppression systems will all be modernized during the closure, the state said.

Gulliver said, as of Sunday, work crews have removed 100% of the suspended ceilings. “We’re moving on to the next stage of the work, which will be chipping out concrete and preparing the precast arch structure,” Gulliver said. “That phase will continue for the rest of the summer. It’s a big phase for us.”

Gulliver said construction workers will start from the center of the tunnel and work their way out.



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