Plan ahead: What to know about the Comm. Ave. bridge project and your commute

Wondering how the construction will shake up your commute? Here’s what to know.

Construction is done on the Commonwealth Avenue bridge as traffic moves along the Mass. Pike in July 2017.
Construction is done on the Commonwealth Avenue bridge as traffic moves along the Mass. Pike in July 2017. –Keith Bedford / The Boston Globe

You may want to leave some extra time for your commute the next two weeks — depending on your route.

Heavy construction on the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project picks back up Thursday (remember last summer?), and it will keep some major roadways off limits for about two weeks, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

Road closures are set to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday and last through 5 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11.

Wondering how this will shake up your commute? Here’s what to know:

What’s closed

Commonwealth Avenue, both east and westbound, will be roped off to through traffic between Packard’s Corner and Kenmore Square.


Two-way traffic will only be allowed for local residents, businesses and their customers, public transit buses, emergency vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. However, “there will be no access for private vehicles between St. Paul and St. Mary’s Streets,” MassDOT said.

The Boston University Bridge between Boston and Cambridge will also be closed to traffic, except for pedestrians and bicyclists.

What’s impacted

The Green Line

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) Green Line B Branch trolleys will not travel between the Babcock and Blandford street stations, starting Friday.

Instead, you’ll be able to hop on a shuttle bus between the two stations, with accessibility for people with disabilities provided at all stops. The buses will not collect fares, according to the MBTA. (Walking the 1.1-mile distance would take roughly 25 minutes, according to Google Maps.)

MBTA buses

The MBTA bus routes CT2 and 47 will be detoured throughout construction, and the Route 57 bus will operate as normal but without two outbound stops: Commonwealth Avenue at University Road and Commonwealth Avenue at Buick Street, according to the MBTA.

The Mass. Pike

Interstate 90 — between the Beacon Street overpass and the Allston-Brighton interchange — will see some lane reductions and ramp closures throughout the project, starting at 9 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 6.


No more than two lanes will be open in each direction during peak hours with additional lane closures during off-peak hours and over the weekends, MassDOT said.

The I-90 eastbound on-ramp from Cambridge Street/Soldiers Field Road will be closed during this entire period,” the department said. “The I-90 westbound Exit 20 off-ramp to Brighton/Cambridge will be closed intermittently.”

MBTA Commuter Rail and Amtrak train service

The MBTA’s Framingham/Worcester commuter rail line will have service impacts on two weekends: July 28 and 29 and Aug. 4 and 5, according to MassDOT.

“Free bus shuttles will replace train service between Framingham and Wellesley Farms. After Wellesley Farms, the shuttle bus will then continue nonstop to Riverside, where riders can connect to the Green D Line,” the department said. “In addition to the local shuttles, express shuttle service will be available between Framingham and Riverside.”

Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited-Chicago line will also see impacts those two weekends. A shuttle bus service from Albany, New York, to Boston, with stops in Springfield and Worcester, will be offered instead, MassDOT said.

What are my options?

Aside from riding out the traffic and public transportation impacts, commuters could consider biking or walking.

MassDOT said it has partnered with the City of Boston to offer an additional, and temporary, “Blue Bikes” station at Silber Way on Commonwealth Avenue during construction.

What do the detours look like?

Here are the maps of the proposed traffic detours:

Commonwealth Avenue

The Boston University Bridge

The Mass. Pike

Additional detour maps are available on MassDOT’s website.

Why is this happening?

In short, the existing bridge was built in 1965, and it needs to be fixed up.


The $110 million project is expected to be finished next spring.

How can I get more information?

MassDot suggests consulting a few traffic resources before hitting the road, such as dialing 511 or visiting for real-time traffic conditions.

There’s also the MassDOT “GoTime” mobile app and Twitter account, @MassDOT, and the MBTA’s alerts at