Those planning on traveling north on Interstate 93 into, and out of, Boston should expect significant delays this weekend because of repairs to a 600-foot section of deteriorating concrete leading from the O’Neill Tunnel to the Zakim Bridge, the state Department of Transportation says.
The three left lanes of the road will be closed at 10 p.m. Friday and won’t reopen until 10 a.m. Saturday. The closures will also affect the northbound on-ramps from Essex Street and Atlantic Avenue.
The three right lanes of the road will be closed at 10 p.m. Saturday and reopen by 10 a.m. Sunday, with the same on-ramp closures, said Michael Verseckes, spokesman for the transportation department.
The $400,000 project will require work crews to mill down between 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches of concrete and resurface the roadway with asphalt, Verseckes said.
Currently, the road is made of a concrete mixed with silica sand that was supposed to last about eight to 10 years, but was prone to cracking with the harsh weather and heavy traffic. Water would seep into the cracks creating potholes, more cracking, and road debris, Verseckes said.
“When the choice was made to use concrete in this area, the thought was to have a surface that was durable. In terms of durability, however, rather than going for strength, the choice should have been made to go for longevity,” Verseckes said. “Asphalt will have a longer shelf life and will also be easier to repair when maintenance efforts are required.”
Officials expect northbound traffic to back up all the way to the Braintree split. Those traveling to Logan International Airport should add extra time to their commute or seek alternative routes, Verseckes said.
The transportation department intends to resurface parts of the southbound side where the same type of surface was used next year.