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Comm Ave Closed to Traffic through Midweek

Bridge project winds down, but caution urged as work continues


Updated August 12:

MBTA Green Line B: Bus shuttles to replace trolleys through midweek.

Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, BU Bridge closed to private vehicles until midweek.

More information will be posted on Sunday.

Phase one of the massive Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement project that has shut down traffic on the thoroughfare as well as the MBTA Green Line B trolleys between Blandford Street and Babcock Street for more than two weeks will continue to close Comm Ave until midweek, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). MassDOT announced Saturday that Commonwealth Avenue will remain closed to private vehicles through midweek, and shuttle buses will replace Green Lines trolleys until midweek.  The latest information on the reopenings is available on the MassDOT project website.

Even after the area reopens, however, officials are urging drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists to continue to exercise caution in the area. For the next several weeks, there will be off-peak-hour lane reductions on Commonwealth Avenue in the vicinity of the bridge as the contractor completes work on sidewalks, curb settings, final paving, fencing, and utilities.

In addition, crews will be carrying out utility relocations and signal work in the months ahead in preparation for next summer’s second phase of the project.

The $110 million project to replace the half-century-old concrete surface and steel beams that support Commonwealth Avenue as it passes over the Massachusetts Turnpike began on July 27. Replacement of the eastbound portion of the bridge and both the eastbound and westbound trolley tracks required closing that section of Comm Ave to all but MBTA buses, pedestrians, bicycles, BU essential services vehicles, and emergency vehicles. The second phase of the project, scheduled for summer 2018, will replace and reconfigure that portion of the westbound side of Comm Ave.

The project will also provide significant safety and functional improvements for all bridge users, including dedicated bike lanes on the BU Bridge, a traffic signal at the University Road intersection, and numerous sidewalk and pedestrian walkway enhancements that will improve accessibility.

The bridge project is the largest single part of a BU-MassDOT public-private partnership that began in 2003 and includes Comm Ave streetscape work from Amory Street to Alcorn Street, under way now and scheduled for completion in 2019.

Joel Brown, Staff Writer for BU Today, Bostonia and BU Today Marketing & Communications
Joel Brown

Joel Brown can be reached at jbnbpt@bu.edu.

3 Comments on Comm Ave Closed to Traffic through Midweek

  • Stephanie H on 08.11.2017 at 9:24 am

    Since the traffic signal at the University Road intersection will be new, I hope a police detail is assigned there for the first week or so to get people used to obeying the signal. If cars coming from Carlton St are held up because of pedestrians crossing against the light, they end up blocking the box and preventing west-bound traffic on Comm Ave from proceeding. I’m thankful that a light is being added at that intersection!

    • LarryO on 08.22.2017 at 9:06 am

      Exactly! This soon-to-come-someday pedestrian light is at least 30-40 years overdue! Because of the narrowness of University Road, there will need to be Police enforcement at the beginning, every September, and periodically to get the point across that it is a major intersection, despite its small size.

      The return of 2 lanes turning from Commonwealth Ave onto the BU Bridge will also help relieve some of the continuous backup at that intersection. The previous work to reduce it to one lane and make the huge pedestrian island has been a dismal failure.

  • Tom on 08.12.2017 at 9:46 pm

    Just announced the opening of Comm Ave is delayed a few days.

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