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Reshaping Route 2, and free fares on Friday

Posted by Nichole Davis  March 13, 2013 11:26 PM

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If you've been traveling on Route 2 through Lincoln anytime this week, you may have noticed that there's significantly fewer trees on the eastbound side. And homes. And several more construction vehicles.

Residents of Concord and Lincoln have been warned about this upcoming project for some time, and it's finally kicking in -- and the work will be around for quite a while...

... Until sometime in the spring of 2016, to be exact, according to our friends at MassDOT. (Or, to look at it differently, when the freshmen at Concord-Carlisle High School will graduate.)

So, what's the purpose of this long-term project? The intersection at Crosby's Corner is well known for getting pretty congested during rush hour. What the crews are trying to do is essentially build a bridge to carry traffic destined to stay on Route 2 over the intersection with Route 2A. This would allow traffic to keep moving consistently and not have to worry about the traffic light delays.

While several homes had to be acquired for the project - some by eminent domain - many were still permitted to stay alongside the construction route. Good news for those residents - service roads are now going to be put up along the main highway for easier entry and exit. These roads will help to give a bit of a buffer from the construction, too.

The work zone will run, once it's in full swing, from Tracy's Circle (Bedford Road) in Lincoln to Sandy Pond Road in Concord (between Walden Street and Crosby's Corner). The trees are coming down now, and you'll find lots of landscaping taking place, too. You won't see much in the way of significant construction taking place on the proposed bridge for a while yet -- the contractor says they're going to begin with the service roads first. I'll keep you posted as to how the project is coming along.

For now, expect heavy delays from time to time between 8:00 PM and 6:00 AM on Route 2 in the work zone. I've personally been stuck in some on the eastbound side so far, but nothing westbound -- but that doesn't mean that won't change.

If you're a regular commuter of that section of Route 2, do you think the project is a worthwhile one? Are you going to modify your route to and from work because of it?
I don't know about you, but I'm a really big fan of things that are free AND beneficial.

If you tend to agree with me, and you happen to be a commuter on the Mass Pike, then it's your lucky day! Well, technically, Friday is going to be your lucky day.

Between 5:00 and 6:00 PM on Friday, all traffic through the Allston/Brighton and Weston tolls will be free -- and, if you're heading onto Route 30 in Natick, you'll also be exempt from paying an exit toll. Pretty sweet, huh?

You can thank Cumberland Farms for the "free" tolls - you do still have to stop at the toll plazas, and E-Z Pass customers will simply receive a credit on their bill. The chain is using the hour to promote their new SmartPay Check-Link program, which helps customers earn rewards and discounts on gas.

The DOT says, by the way, that about 12,000 drivers used those toll booths during one hour of the commute last year. I'm not a mathematician, but if those numbers hold up, commuters will be saving some serious cash this Friday.
It's been a few weeks since the Fung Wah was effectively shut down. While there is still plenty of discount bus service running between New York and Boston, there are some who just can't seem to shake the loss.

If you're a Bob Dylan fan, you'll either cringe or applaud this poignant send-off to the Fung Wah from the New Yorker, based on "Farewell, Angelina". Let me know your thoughts.

I sniffled a little.
Just a quick update on the Anderson Bridge that connects Lower Allston to Harvard Square... if you're a resident of the area, or a commuter, or have tried to get off of Soldier's Field Road at any point to get to Harvard Square, you know that the whole area is a bit of a mess and torn up.

You still can't make a left turn onto Memorial Drive from JFK Street, and yesterday the DOT announced that they were going to eliminate the left turns onto Soldiers Field Road eastbound from JFK Street southbound.

Well, that's not the case -- those left turns will remain in place, so no worries. Keep in mind that they are going to be shutting down the sidewalk on the eastbound side of the bridge, so if you normally hoof it over the bridge on foot, you'll be detoured.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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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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