Improvements Planned for Storrow Drive

The Department of Conser-vation and Recreation (DCR) unveiled plans for its approximately $3.1 million roadway and tunnel improvements project to Storrow Drive last week.

According to DCR officials, construction will commence next month and is slated for completion in April, depending on the weather. Work hours will be from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., Sunday through Thursday. Avon-based D’Allesandaro Corporation and Prime Coatings, Inc. of Salisbury will serve as the contractors for the roadway and tunnel components of the project, respectively.

Goals and benefits of roadway improvements include reducing the weight of the pavement on tunnel roofs; restoring the smooth riding surface and pavement markings; improving drainage on the westbound roadway; and restoring or replacing damaged curbs and guardrails.

Goals and benefits of tunnel improvements include cleaning and painting of corroding, overstressed steel roof-beams that began in 2008-2009 as part of the Interim Repairs Project, as well as repainting walls in the main tunnel.

Mitigation during construction includes equipping all trucks with “white noise” backup alarms, implementing a portable noise barrier around equipment and installing protective devices for trees near work areas. No jack-hammering is anticipated as part of the project, according to DCR officials.

All road closures and detours are planned during the construction hours of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., and DCR will provide one week’s notice of these changes via press advisories, list-serve communications and “variable” message boards located on Storrow Drive and Interstate 93.

Traffic changes include full closure of westbound lanes to accommodate surface roadwork and full closure of eastbound lanes for tunnel work. During this time, westbound traffic will be rerouted via the Longfellow Bridge to Memorial Drive, while eastbound traffic will be redirected via River Street to Memorial Drive. (DCR will work with area hospitals to maintain access for emergency vehicles).

The project will be funded through Gov. Deval Patrick’s $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program (APB) to improve structurally deficient crossings throughout the Commonwealth.

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