The previously announced traffic shift on the Longfellow Bridge will now begin on Monday, November 9. MassDOT’s contractor, White-Skanska-Consigli (WSC), will shift traffic on the downstream side of the Longfellow Bridge to accommodate modified Stage 2 construction of the temporary outbound Red Line track (called a “shoo-fly”) on the roadway. WSC is beginning the work early to advance the schedule and minimize the risk of delays due to winter weather. Stage 2 will last approximately three months, through January 2016. During Stage 2, WSC will also close the Longfellow Bridge to all vehicular traffic overnight, Mondays through Fridays. The closure will begin at 9:00 PM each night and end at 5:00 AM the following morning. The closure may extend to Saturday nights, if needed. The closure will be from November 9, 2015 through January 2016, and is necessary to expedite the work and shorten the duration of the temporary traffic shift.
Temporary Traffic Shift
The work will require temporarily narrowing space for vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians on the downstream side of the bridge. The traffic shift is necessary to maintain two-way bike travel across the bridge until construction of the upstream side is complete and all bike travel is shifted to it.
While the temporary traffic shift is in place, inbound bikes will continue to use a dedicated lane on the roadway, which will be shifted to the east away from the MBTA Red Line tracks. Inbound vehicles will also be shifted to the east, so the temporary tracks can be installed. Outbound bikes and pedestrians will share the sidewalk. This configuration differs from the original Stage 2 plan where bike travel in both directions would have been shifted to the upstream side of the bridge for construction of the temporary track. It is an extension of what is currently in place in the middle of the bridge between the “Salt and Pepper” towers. Bicyclists will be asked to walk their bikes across the bridge to ensure the safety of all users, and signs will be posted noting this requirement. View the Modified Stage 2 Graphic for new travel space configurations.
Nightly Closures of the Longfellow Bridge to Vehicles
Overnight closures of the Longfellow Bridge will expedite construction of the shoo-fly. Boston-bound vehicles should use the inbound detour routes described below. Bike and pedestrian traffic will be maintained across the bridge at all times. No closures will be implemented until one hour before and after all events at TD Garden to minimize traffic impacts at Leverett Circle.
Inbound Detour Routes: All motor vehicles will be detoured using one of two routes. Passenger vehicles may use Memorial Drive westbound to make a U-turn at Ames Street for access to Memorial Drive eastbound to Land Boulevard and Charles River Dam Road (Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Route 28) to reach Leverett Circle, or 3rd Street and Binney Street to reach Land Boulevard. Height restrictions are in place for Memorial Drive, so all buses and trucks must use 3rd Street and Binney Street to reach Land Boulevard and Charles River Dam Road (Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Route 28).
The Cambridge-bound detour remains in place using the existing signed route from Charles Circle following Charles Street to Leverett Circle, Monsignor O’Brien Highway (Route 28)/Charles River Dam Road and Land Boulevard.
WSC held an emergency responder briefing on October 30 to discuss traffic management plans with Mass General Hospital and first responders, such as police and fire personnel. WSC has also coordinated with the MBTA to ensure access for emergency busing should an emergency shutdown of the Red Line be necessary.
In early February, once the temporary track is complete, all bikes will be shifted to the upstream side of the bridge and the outbound MBTA Red Line will be shifted to the temporary track. Inbound trains will be moved to the current outbound side and WSC will begin rehabilitating the bridge under the current location of MBTA inbound tracks. This Stage 3 work will take approximately eight months to complete. During this stage, inbound vehicles and pedestrians will continue to use the downstream side. View the Stage 3 Graphic for new travel space configurations.
For more information, visit the project website at www.mass.gov/massdot/longfellowbridge. For questions or issues and concerns related to construction, please call the project hotline at 617-519-9892 or email [email protected] View construction progress photos on MassDOT’s Longfellow Bridge Flickr Album.