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Columbus Day weekend traffic capers, and CharlieCard updates

Posted by Nichole Davis  October 5, 2012 12:25 PM

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It's the holiday weekend! I hope you enjoy fair-going, relaxing, or doing whatever it is you have planned. Perhaps a final push to the Cape? While writing this, I'm already noticing a bit of a backup there. It'll be like summer all over again... minus the whole "hot" thing.

Anyway, in today's entry, I have some news from the MBTA about CharlieCard availability... a very important traffic note for anyone driving 93 northbound this weekend (starting tonight!) ... and, of course, Columbus Day MBTA schedules and usual construction.

Tonight's the night

You may have heard about the heavy delays that are about to befall 93 northbound drivers this Columbus Day weekend. Starting tonight, only one lane will get by as you exit the O'Neill Tunnel onto the Zakim Bridge.

What's keeping things all blocked up? According to the DOT, there's a pretty large stretch (about 600 feet) of pavement that's starting to crumble that they will be replacing with a substance called micro-silica. DOT crews already replaced ramps to Haymarket and the Sumner Tunnel earlier this year with the stuff.

Press Secretary Sara Lavoie says the lanes will start to shut down tonight around 10 PM. They'll stay closed straight through until tomorrow morning, when things will open up around 10 AM. You'll see another closure between the same hours tomorrow night into Sunday morning. Again, one lane will get through, it'll just be VERY cramped.

Traffic, especially in the morning tomorrow, could spill back through the tunnel all the way onto the Expressway northbound - some are saying you could see delays, closer to 10 AM, starting as far back as the Braintree split. Either way, give yourself plenty of extra time... or, if you want to avoid the whole thing, you could consider 128 as a work-around if you heading to points not-downtown.

Here's the official breakdown of the closures from MassDOT:

On Friday night, October 5th, at 10 PM, MassDOT will close the 3 LEFT Lanes of I-93 NB. This includes on-ramps from Essex Street to 93 northbound and Atlantic Avenue to 93 northbound. All ramps and lanes are scheduled to be open by 10 AM Saturday morning. Ramp Detours: Northbound traffic on Atlantic Avenue will be detoured to the 93 northbound on-ramp at Haymarket. Route 1 north traffic will be directed to the Route 1 north on-ramp in City Square. On Saturday night, October 6th, at 10 PM, MassDOT will close the 3 RIGHT lanes of I-93 NB. This includes on-ramps from Essex Street to 93 northbound and Atlantic Avenue to 93 northbound. All ramps and lanes are scheduled to be open by 10 AM Sunday morning. Ramp Detours: Northbound traffic on Atlantic Avenue will be detoured to the 93 northbound on-ramp at Haymarket. Route 1 north traffic will be directed to the Route 1 north on-ramp in City Square.

Search no more

I've heard from many of you about how you have often been stuck with either an expired CharlieCard, lost your CharlieCard and didn't know how to get another, or knew that relatives and friends were coming into town and weren't sure how to get one for them. Well, good news!

I heard from MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo this morning, and he told me that the T is launching a new program to assist customers in receiving CharlieCards. The program will also help customers know where they can get CharlieCards as they move through the system.

He told me new signage will be going up soon to show the exact days and times you can pick up a card. Cards will also be available at the Downtown Crossing CharlieCard store every Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5:30 PM, as they have been.

To check out when cards are available at the closest stop to you, click here.

MBTA Matters

Yep, it's another holiday weekend. That means it's time for revised holiday schedules on the T! Let's have a look at what Monday will bring...

Subway:
All lines will operate on a Saturday schedule. The E branch of the Green Line will not offer service past Brigham Circle. Use the 39 bus to access service to Heath Street.

Silver Line:
The Silver Line will operate on a regular weekday schedule.

Bus:
All buses will run on a Saturday schedule, including trackless trolleys. Express #501 will run on a modified weekday schedule, while #504 has additional service on top of a modified Saturday schedule. Express routes #325, #326, #351, #352, #354 will run on a regular weekday schedule.
---
Assembly Square work means that Orange Line busing is still in place between Oak Grove and Sullivan Square on weekday nights, too. You'll find that happening each Sunday through Thursday night until December 28. Diversions start up at 9:00 each evening and last until the end of service that night. The shuttle buses will make all stops.

And the T says there'll be another diversion on the SL1 and SL2 routes each night on the Silver Line -- this time, for this coming Monday through Thursday. They say the diversions are necessary to do work in the transitway (that tunnel between South Station and the World Trade Center stop).

You'll find slowdowns here...

495 in both directions at King Street (Exit 17), Franklin: bridge maintenance blocks the left lane from 7:00 p.m. Friday to 10:00 a.m. Saturday, 6:00 p.m. Saturday to 10:00 a.m. Sunday, and 7:00 p.m. Sunday to 5:00 a.m. Monday. Expect minor delays.

128 northbound at Washington Street (Exit 36), Woburn: continuous road work blocks the right shoulder 24-7 Monday through Friday. Expect slowdowns.

Route 3 southbound from the Braintree Split past the Burgin Parkway (Exit 19), Quincy: watch for lane shifts and ongoing paving work through most weekday middays and overnights. Expect heavy delays.

Route 128 in both directions, between Route 109 (Exit 16) and Great Plain Avenue (Exit 18), Dedham - Needham: ongoing road widening project blocks the left lane through most weekday middays and overnights. Expect significant delays and possible blockages of the active breakdown lane.

Route 128 in both directions, between Route 38, Woburn (Exit 35) and Route 3, Burlington (Exits 32 A/B): left lane is closed for ongoing median work. Lane restrictions and shifts are in place. Expect heavy delays.

Route 1 Northbound between Main Street and Noah's Motors, Saugus: right lanes are closed weekday nights between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. for water main installation.

North Harvard Street over the Larz Anderson Bridge: Continual lane closures are in effect in both directions for bridge reconstruction work. No left turn onto Memorial Drive from JFK Street.

Tobin Bridge in both directions: Watch for continual lane closures as DOT crews continue to paint the bridge. These will be in effect until November.

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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