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A somewhat harsh river road reminder, and an Expressway avoidance

Posted by Nichole Davis  October 15, 2012 12:43 AM

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While we, thankfully, don't have much snow to worry about, this past weekend gave us a bit of a taste of winter, for sure! Friday night was downright chilly. Might be time to consider getting out that ice scraper, road salt for your driveway, and (if you live in Boston), your beaten up traffic cone / porch table / large bucket / other parking-space-saving object... that snow's coming soon enough, mark my words!

Today's entry discusses a continuing problem on the river roads (I'm sure you already know what I'm referring to, if you're a local resident) ... there's also a big construction closure scheduled for the Expressway on Tuesday night, so there's details inside about that. Also, there's a story about a close call at Kendall on the Red Line this past weekend, and your usual construction detours are included for your downtown drives.

Scrub a dub

Planning on heading into Boston via the Expressway late Tuesday into early Wednesday? Take my advice -- you may not want to...

MassDOT has announced that the Expressway northbound will be completely closed between Southampton Street (Exit 16) and the O'Neill Tunnel from Tuesday at 11:00 PM until Wednesday at 5:00 AM. Why? They say electrical and communications systems need some work, and the tunnel needs some cleaning. Crews will be scrubbing down signs and walls, and they'll also be fishing detritus out of drains.

Despite the fact that the closure will be taking place on a weeknight, and rather late in the evening at that, I'm still expecting that there'll be a significant amount of traffic. Be sure to give yourself at least an extra 20 or 30 minutes to make your trip, or consider taking side roads through Dorchester and South Boston to the downtown. Here's the official detour:

Traffic will be detoured off the highway at Exit 16 (Southampton Street Exit) to Frontage Road Northbound. Ramps from Frontage Road Northbound allow traffic to get to I-90 Eastbound (Logan Airport) and I-90 Westbound. I-93 Northbound traffic will continue on Atlantic Avenue and re-enter I-93 Northbound at Haymarket On-Ramp. Traffic destined for Route 1 Northbound (Tobin Bridge) should stay on the surface streets and access the Route 1 Northbound on-ramp in City Square.

Tough love for truckers

If I were asked to create a sign to try to alleviate the stuck truck problem on Memorial and Storrow Drives, I would make it large, neon (of course), flashy, and it would say:

"ATTENTION SIR AND/OR MADAM: YOUR OFFENDING VEHICLE IS SIMPLY TOO TALL. STOP NOW OR FACE DIRE CONSEQUENCES"

... and then spikes would pop up from the road and puncture the tires if they ventured too close to the tunnel or bridge in question.

Okay, maybe it wouldn't be that harsh. But there's just got to be another way to stop trucks from smashing into these tunnels. It happened yet again, as documented by Adam over at UniversalHub. Commenter John-W might have me beat out for naming that sign, though:

Looks like he's backing up after having smacked into Mass Ave. If you notice the signs that hang down saying "HEY STUPID IF YOU HIT THIS SIGN, YER GONNA HIT THE OVERPASS COMING UP!" is hanging straight down - meaning he's backing up to it. If he was going forward the sign would probably be swinging in the breeze behind him.

Check out the pic of the slightly-squished truck here. And, if you're in the mood for schadenfreude, here's another small album dedicated to various too-tall mishaps over the past couple decades involving our local too-small bridges.

And seriously, truckers and U-Haulers: stop it with the trucks on the river roads. Please. People are just going to laugh at you, and you'll have to pay a ton of cash out if you hit a bridge, and of course nobody wants that. Consider this tough love.

A good save by Good Samaritans

It's not unheard of to hear of people falling into the pits on the T, but I'd imagine it's pretty scary for those few seconds for anyone involved when that does come to pass.

So far, we haven't heard exactly what caused this incident, but on Sunday night a group of riders had to dash into the pit at Kendall after a woman from Minnesota fell in. Jaclyn Reiss of the Globe reports that the woman was actually unconscious for a few minutes after falling in, but was revived and assisted out by her husband and others. The woman reportedly did not hit the third rail but was transported to MGH for back pain. Full story here.

Thankfully there were no trains anywhere near the station at the time of the fall, but MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo issued the standard reminder -- that being, if someone does indeed fall in, and you're there to witness it, you should call MBTA Transit Police immediately. Not only can they assist in helping people out of the pit and making sure that you don't endanger yourself in the process, but they can halt trains in the area while that all takes place. Don't forget -- you can also contact T police via the See-Say app.

You'll find slowdowns here (Downtown Boston version)...

Mass Pike Eastbound

++ COMPLETE CLOSURE ++ at Exit 22 (Prudential Center / Copley Square) on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM for ongoing tunnel work. Traffic diverted at the exit.

The ramp from the South Boston Bypass road to the Pike eastbound will close Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:59 PM to 5:00 AM.

Mass Pike Westbound

The Albany St. Connector to the Mass Pike westbound will close Monday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.

The Exit 20-B ramp from the O'Neill Tunnel southbound to the Pike Westbound will close Monday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM. Access to Albany Street will remain open.

The Copley ramp to the Pike westbound will close Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM.

The Arlington St. ramp to the Pike westbound will close Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM.

The ramps from Congress Street and the Ted Williams Tunnel to 93 will close on Tuesday from 11:59 PM to 5:00 AM.

Expressway / O'Neill Tunnel Southbound

The Dewey Square Tunnel section of the O'Neill Tunnel southbound will close Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM. All traffic will be diverted at Exit 20 A/B.

The ramp from Essex Street to 93 southbound will close Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.

The ramps from the Surface Artery at New Chardon Street to 93 southbound and the Callahan Tunnel will close on Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.

Expressway / O'Neill Tunnel Northbound

The ramps from Essex Street and Atlantic Avenue to 93 northbound will close Monday and Wednesday from 11:59 PM to 5:00 AM.

There will be a triple left lane closure from the beginning of the O’Neill Tunnel to the end of the Zakim Bridge on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11:59 PM to 5:00 AM.

The ramp from Frontage Road and the Broadway Bridge northbound to 93 northbound will close on Tuesday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.

The ramps from Cross Street and the Sumner Tunnel to 93 NB will close on Friday from 11:30 PM to 5:00 AM.

Leverett Connector Tunnels

The Leverett Connector Tunnel westbound will close Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30 PM to 5:00 AM.

Storrow Drive

Don't forget that ongoing work will close Storrow Drive westbound completely from the Hatch Shell to Clarendon Street every weeknight until December 1. Detours will take you over the Longfellow Bridge to Memorial Drive. You can also follow local roads and access Storrow westbound at Clarendon or at Kenmore Square.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Nichole Davis is a Boston-based traffic reporter and news anchor. She’s been seen and heard on television and radio airwaves across New England since 2003, providing commuters with all the More »

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