BU Today

Campus Life

Construction Work May Impact Traffic on Comm Ave in Coming Weeks

Work affecting both West and East Campus begins during intersession



  • Phase two of Comm Ave Improvement Project closes down for winter
  • Silber Way reduced to one lane for much of January due to construction projects
  • Limited access to alley connecting Silber Way and Granby Street

Three construction projects may cause minor traffic and pedestrian issues around the Charles River Campus beginning during the holiday break, but the Boston University Police Department will have officers on scene to minimize disruption and ensure safe travel.

On West Campus, Newport Construction will be buttoning up phase two of the Commonwealth Avenue Improvement Project for the winter, closing off the unfinished bike lanes from the BU Bridge to Packard’s Corner and storing away construction materials and equipment, says Michael Donovan, BU vice president for campus planning and operations.

The $20.4 million state project will resume in the spring, with a completion date set for June, but the winter cleanup and shutdown is necessary for pedestrian, cyclist, and vehicular safety and snow removal operations during winter months, Donovan says.

Cement blocks obstruct the bike paths along Commonwealth Avenue

Cement blocks obstruct the bike paths along Commonwealth Avenue. Photo by Cydney Scott

On East Campus, Silber Way will be reduced to one lane for approximately two and a half weeks beginning January 7 or 9, for cabling work by Crown Castle International Corp., as part of the city of Boston’s ongoing wireless communications project. The exact traffic pattern is still being determined, but there will be no parking on Silber Way during the work. Boston Police will be on site, according to the city of Boston.

That project is one of two that will limit access to the alley connecting Silber Way and Granby Street, behind Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences and the Bay State Road brownstones. The other is preparatory work being conducted on the University’s new Data Sciences Center, which will eventually occupy what is now a BU parking lot at the corner of Granby Street and Comm Ave.

Beginning December 26, crews will drill three 1,500-feet geothermal test wells. Among its sustainability and climate action goals, the University hopes to use geothermal systems technology to heat and cool the Data Sciences Center. If these test wells are successful, a total of up to 30 will be drilled to serve the planned building. The test work will likely impinge on the alley and may reduce the number of parking spaces available in the Granby parking lot.

People who would normally use the alley for parking or pedestrian access to buildings on Comm Ave and Bay State Road will find there is limited or no access at times. Police details assigned to the Silber Way project will ensure that emergency vehicles and other essential services can access the alley as needed, says Robert Molloy, BUPD deputy chief.

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

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

4 Comments on Construction Work May Impact Traffic on Comm Ave in Coming Weeks

  • Bill on 12.20.2018 at 12:02 pm

    These Newport guys have been moving like molasses going uphill. Police are barely present as they arbitrarily close lanes any time the want, causing havoc. What a joke.

    • Anthony on 01.04.2019 at 4:06 pm

      I have never seen a project move so impossibly slow before on campus, and possibly in Boston for that matter. They “work” for like 4 days they shut down and resume for another couple of days a month or two later. And all for a horribly designed, narrow, meandering bike lane better suited for mud run obstacle course than for an increasingly used commuter center of Boston.

  • Jeff on 01.04.2019 at 4:51 pm

    I’m no sidewalk contractor… Why they were given a timeline of 3+ years to complete this project is a mystery.

  • Steve on 01.08.2019 at 1:21 pm

    What I can’t quite understand is that they can replace the bridge over the Mass Pike in 2 weeks, but they can’t complete the sidewalks in two years !!!

Reply to Bill

cancel reply

(never shown)