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State breaks ground on Longfellow Bridge, more disruptions ahead

Posted by Brock Parker  August 7, 2013 01:28 PM

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State and local officials formally broke ground on the Longfellow Bridge rehabilitation project, where heavy construction this weekend will disrupt Red Line MBTA service. Photo by Brock Parker.

Buses will replace Red Line trains traversing the Longfellow Bridge this weekend after transportation officials formally broke ground on the bridge rehabilitation project Wednesday.

Bostonbounddetour.pngBoston bound traffic will also be detoured around the bridge this Saturday, Aug. 10 and Sunday, Aug. 11, as the heavy construction of the $255.5 million, three-and-a-half year project gets underway.

Detours for Cambridge bound traffic around the bridge began in late July, and Richard Davey, the secretary of the state Department of Transportation, said the state waited two weeks before beginning heavy construction on the bridge to make sure that the detours that have been put in place worked as expected.

Some tweaks to the detour plan have been made, including adjusting the timing on some traffic signals, and Davey said the state has seen more Boston bound traffic traveling the Massachusetts Avenue bridge since the detours kicked in.

Davey along with Congressman Michael Capuano, D-Somerville, and other state and local officials attended a formal groundbreaking for the bridge project Wednesday at the foot of the bridge in Boston.

State Highway Administrator Frank DePaola said that with the completion of the Longfellow Bridge work the state will wrap up its $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program that has been addressing structurally deficient bridges across the state.

“We will complete this project on time,” DePaola said.

busreplace.pngThis Saturday and Sunday shuttle buses will replace Red Line trains between the Park Street and Kendall MBTA stops. It will be the first of what is expected to be 25 weekends in which buses will replace the Red Line trains during the project. Buses will also replace the Red Line trains in the area of the bridge on the weekends of Aug. 24-25, Oct. 19-20, Oct. 26-27, and Nov. 2-3.

In addition to the bridge being closed to cars this weekend, cyclists will also be asked to walk their bikes over the bridge Saturday and Sunday, said Michael Verseckes, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

--brock.globe@gmail.com

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