Longfellow Bridge Construction

Longfellow

 

Beginning in July 2013 and running through 2016, the Longfellow Bridge connecting Boston and Kendall Square in Cambridge will be under construction. In an effort to keep our members up to date, MassBio will post project updates here.

For more information on the project and traffic management plans, visit the website at www.mass.gov/massdot/longfellowbridge. For questions, to report issues and concerns related to construction or to be added to the project email distribution list, please call the project hotline at 617-519-9892 or email longfellowbridge@state.ma.us.

 

UPDATES FROM THE PROJECT MANAGER

 

April 10, 2014
Tree Removal and Pruning begins in Boston and Cambridge on April 14

On April 14, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) design/build contractor for the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project, White-Skanska-Consigli (WSC), will begin removing and pruning trees in Boston and Cambridge. The removal of the trees is necessary to facilitate project construction. In Boston, two trees will be removed in the construction staging area near the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary parking lot and one tree will be removed near the pedestrian bridge. One tree will be removed on the downstream side of the bridge in Cambridge. Trees scheduled for removal are marked with an orange “X” on the trunk. Other trees in the project area will be selectively pruned to ensure their health. Information on the tree removal and protection plan can be found in the Environmental and Historic Resources section of the website

March 18, 2014
Memorial Drive Westbound Overnight Closure – Wednesday, March 19 through Friday, March 21

Memorial Drive westbound under the Longfellow Bridge will close overnight on Wednesday, March 19 through Friday, March 21. A single lane closure will be implemented beginning at 9:00 PM each night and the full closure will begin at 11:00 PM. The roadway will reopen to traffic at 5:00 AM each morning.

The closure is to assist the Massachusetts Department of Transportation with its ongoing Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project, and is necessary to accommodate demolition activities.

Vehicular traffic will be detoured using the alternate routes of Land Boulevard to Binney Street and Third Street or the ramp from Land Boulevard to Main Street.

Bicycles and pedestrians will be diverted to the eastbound side of Memorial Drive to pass under the bridge.  

March 12, 2014
Memorial Drive Westbound Overnight Closure – Thursday, March 13 and Friday, March 14

Memorial Drive westbound under the Longfellow Bridge will close overnight on Thursday, March 13 and Friday, March 14. A single lane closure will be implemented beginning at 9:00 PM each night and the full closure will begin at 11:00 PM. The roadway will reopen to traffic at 5:00 AM each morning.

The closure is to assist the Massachusetts Department of Transportation with its ongoing Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project, and is necessary to accommodate demolition activities.

Vehicular traffic will be detoured using the alternate routes of Land Boulevard to Binney Street and Third Street or the ramp from Land Boulevard to Main Street.

Bicycles and pedestrians will be diverted to the eastbound side of Memorial Drive to pass under the bridge. 

March 5, 2014
“Salt and Pepper” Tower Dismantling to Begin this Week

More than 100 years after the last stone was set on the “salt and pepper” towers of the Longfellow Bridge, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will begin dismantling them for storage, cleaning, and repair as part of the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project. The work is anticipated to begin later this week, and is weather dependent.

The tower dismantling work will take place using a barge-mounted crane on the Charles River. On Thursday, March 6, MassDOT’s contractor, White-Skanska-Consigli JV, will begin preparations by moving into place the crane via barge from the staging area in Charlestown to the upstream side of the bridge. An ice-breaker will precede the barge to provide an unobstructed path. Once the crane is in position at the Cambridge tower the granite stones will be removed and loaded on a barge. The stones will be taken to the contractor’s staging area for cleaning, storage, and repair.

The towers will be dismantled to sidewalk level only. All remaining pier granite below the sidewalk will be restored in place. During stone removal, waterway access will be partially restricted through span 7 (see waterway navigation plan attached), immediately adjacent to the tower. Booms and lighting will be deployed in accordance with US Coast Guard requirements for boater safety.

Concurrent with the tower granite removal, the contractor will need to demolish a concrete liner to expose the inner face of the tower stonework. The concrete demolition work will take place from staging set within the towers and will not be visible to pedestrians from street level. Once the Cambridge-side tower is dismantled, the contractor will start work on the adjacent upstream Boston tower (or Pier 5). The two downstream towers will be dismantled and restored when that side of the bridge is rehabilitated during the final phase of construction, which is planned to begin in fall 2015.

As conditions dictate, the uppermost stones comprising the tower roof may need to be removed using a mobile crane situated on the bridge deck. In this case, the work will be done at night, during MBTA Red Line non-service hours.

The contractor plans to rebuild the iconic towers after seismic reinforcement construction is completed within the bridge tower piers. The fully restored upstream “salt and pepper” tower stonework is planned to be reassembled on the bridge later this year.

To learn about the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project and construction process, view this animation.

Read more: “Salt and Pepper” Tower Dismantling and Restoration Process Explained


February 28, 2014
Memorial Drive Westbound Overnight Closure – Monday, March 3 through Friday, March 7

Memorial Drive westbound under the Longfellow Bridge will close overnight on Monday, March 3 through Friday, March 7. A single lane closure will be implemented beginning at 9:00 PM each night and the full closure will begin at 11:00 PM. The roadway will reopen to traffic at 5:00 AM each morning.

The closure is to assist the Massachusetts Department of Transportation with its ongoing Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project, and is necessary to accommodate demolition activities.

Vehicular traffic will be detoured using the alternate routes of Land Boulevard to Binney Street and Third Street or the ramp from Land Boulevard to Main Street.

Bicycles and pedestrians will be diverted to the eastbound side of Memorial Drive to pass under the bridge.   

 

February 21, 2014
Memorial Drive Westbound Overnight Closure – Monday, February 24 through Friday, February 28

Memorial Drive westbound under the Longfellow Bridge will close overnight on Monday, February 24 through Friday, February 28. A single lane closure will be implemented beginning at 9:00 PM each night and the full closure will begin at 11:00 PM. The roadway will reopen to traffic at 5:00 AM each morning.

The closure is to assist the Massachusetts Department of Transportation with its ongoing Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project, and is necessary to accommodate demolition activities.

Vehicular traffic will be detoured using the alternate routes of Land Boulevard to Binney Street and Third Street or the ramp from Land Boulevard to Main Street.

Bicycles and pedestrians will be diverted to the eastbound side of Memorial Drive to pass under the bridge.

December 17, 2013
Longfellow Bridge Closing Overnight for Snow Removal

MassDOT will be closing the Longfellow Bridge to all traffic, including cyclists and pedestrians, beginning tonight at 11 p.m. to allow crews to remove snow and ice from the sidewalk, bike lanes, and vehicle travel lane.

The bridge is expected to reopen by 5 a.m.

 

October 31, 2013
MBTA Red Line Weekend Diversion 2013 Schedule Update

The MBTA Red Line diversion planned for this upcoming weekend  has been cancelled to ensure additional subway service is available for the Red Sox “Rolling Rally” parade on Saturday, November 2. The next MBTA Red Line diversion scheduled as part of the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project  will be the weekend of Saturday, Nov. 23 and Sunday, Nov. 24. For more information on MBTA schedules and service, please visit www.mbta.com

October 21, 2013
Upcoming MBTA Red Line Diversion Weekends – October 26 through 27 and November 2 through 3

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will close the Longfellow Bridge to all motor vehicle travel, except MBTA buses, on the weekends of Saturday, October 26 through Sunday, October 27 and Saturday, November 2 through Sunday, November 3. The closures are to implement Red Line related work associated with ongoing bridge construction. Buses will replace Red Line trains for service between Kendall/MIT Station and Park Street Station, with a stop at Charles/MGH Station. The bus route and stops are shown on the attached map.

Bus service will be in place for Boston and Cambridge-bound Red Line customers from the start of service on Saturday to the end of service on Sunday of each weekend. Red Line trains will resume service on Monday morning. The diversion is necessary for MassDOT’s design/build contractor, White-Skanska-Consigli JV, to perform work in close proximity to the Red Line tracks that is not allowed during MBTA service hours. Please visit the MBTA’s service updates webpage for additional information.

MBTA buses will be the only motor vehicles permitted on the bridge. All other motor vehicles including passenger vehicles, trucks and all other buses will need to use one of two routes shown on the attached detour map to reach Boston. One route uses Memorial Drive westbound to make a u-turn at Ames Street for access to Memorial Drive eastbound to Land Boulevard and Charles River Dam Road (Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Route 28) to reach Leverett Circle. A second route uses 3rd Street and Binney Street to reach Land Boulevard. Truck restrictions are in place for Memorial Drive.

Emergency response, bicycle and pedestrian access will be maintained across the bridge during the weekend diversions. Please note: Bicyclists will be asked to walk their bikes on the sidewalk across the Longfellow Bridge to ensure the safety of all bridge users. On Saturday, October 26, there will be alternating single lane closures on Memorial Drive eastbound to accommodate work above the roadway. Pedestrian travel will also be temporarily detoured from the eastbound side of Memorial Drive to the westbound side that day.

The Cambridge-bound detour remains in place using a signed route from Charles Circle following Charles Street to Leverett Circle, Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Charles River Dam Road and Edwin H. Land Boulevard (detour route map is attached).


August 9, 2013
Temporary Memorial Drive Westbound Closure – Saturday, August 10

On Saturday, August 10, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will temporarily close Memorial Drive Westbound under the Longfellow Bridge (to vehicular traffic only, access for pedestrians and bicycles will remain open) from approximately 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

The closure is necessary to allow MassDOT’s design/build contractor to install a temporary protective fence to shield the MBTA Red Line during upcoming rehabilitation construction. To bypass the affected area, traffic traveling westbound on Memorial Drive should use one of two detour routes. The first route uses Binney Street and 3rd Street to Broadway and Main Street to reach Memorial Drive. The second route uses the 1st Street exit ramp to reach Broadway, with a left turn onto Ames Street to reach Main Street to access Memorial Drive. Please see the detour map for details.   

August 7, 2013
MBTA Red Line Weekend Diversion – August 10 and 11

On Saturday, August 10 and Sunday, August 11, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will close the Longfellow Bridge to all motor vehicle travel, except MBTA buses. The closure is to implement an MBTA Red Line diversion related to bridge construction. Buses will replace Red Line trains for service between Kendall/MIT Station and Park Street Station, with a stop at Charles/MGH Station. The bus route and stops are shown on the attached map.

Bus service will be in place for Boston and Cambridge-bound Red Line customers from the start of service on Saturday, August 10 to the end of service on Sunday, August 11. Red Line trains will resume service on Monday morning. The diversion is necessary for MassDOT’s design/build contractor, White-Skanska-Consigli JV, to perform work in close proximity to the Red Line tracks that is not allowed during MBTA service hours. Please visit the MBTA’s service updates webpage for additional information.

MBTA buses will be the only motor vehicles permitted on the bridge. All other motor vehicles including passenger vehicles, trucks and all other buses will need to use one of two routes shown on the attached detour map to reach Boston. One route uses Memorial Drive westbound to make a u-turn at Ames Street for access to Memorial Drive eastbound to Land Boulevard and Charles River Dam Road (Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Route 28) to reach Leverett Circle. A second route uses 3rd Street and Binney Street to reach Land Boulevard. Truck restrictions are in place for Memorial Drive.

Emergency response, bicycle and pedestrian access will be maintained across the bridge during this weekend diversion. Please note: Bicyclists will be asked to walk their bikes on the sidewalk across the Longfellow Bridge to ensure the safety of all bridge users.

The Cambridge-bound detour remains in place using a signed route from Charles Circle following Charles Street to Leverett Circle, Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Charles River Dam Road and Edwin H. Land Boulevard (detour route map is attached).

 

July 8, 2013
Cambridge-Bound Vehicle Detour begins on July 20

Beginning on July 20, 2013, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will begin major construction activity on the Longfellow Bridge (State Route 3), which connects Boston and Cambridge over the Charles River.  As part of the rehabilitation project, the bridge will be closed for vehicular travel in the Cambridge-bound direction.  This three and a half year project will rehabilitate the iconic “Salt and Pepper” Bridge to improve structural integrity and capacity, meet modern codes (including ADA accessibility), and create a safer configuration for all bridge users.

One vehicle travel lane to Boston, MBTA Red Line service inbound and outbound, emergency response, and bicycle and pedestrian access will be maintained throughout construction.  

Effective July 20, 2013 through September 2014, one lane of traffic will carry vehicles into Boston (using the current Cambridge-bound lane) and Cambridge-bound traffic will be detoured using a signed route from Charles Circle to Land Boulevard using Leverett Circle and Monsignor O’Brien Highway (detour route map is attached).

Subsequent to September 2014, the Boston-bound travel lane will shift its position on the bridge while keeping the Cambridge-bound detour in place. 

Preliminary work to prepare for construction and the traffic shift began in April 2013 and will be completed by July 20. Traffic signal timing changes, lane restriping, and curb modifications at five area intersections will accommodate the traffic management plan. Overhead highway signs on I-93 and I-90 and portable variable message boards on local roads will provide advance notice of traffic pattern changes. Traffic conditions will be monitored at key locations and through the use of traffic cameras installed as part of the project. 

 

July 3, 2013
Tree Removal begins in Boston and Cambridge on July 8

On July 8, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) design/build contractor for the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project, White-Skanska-Consigli (WSC), will begin removing trees as part of preliminary work to prepare for major construction. The work will begin with removal of trees on Mugar Way in Boston for construction of the new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant pedestrian bridge from Charles Circle to the Esplanade. Trees on the south (upstream) side of the bridge in Cambridge will be removed to begin rehabilitation of the bridge. Trees that will be removed during Phase 1 of the project are marked with a yellow ribbon and paint. Trees that will be removed in a later phase are marked with a yellow ribbon only. This preliminary work also includes transplanting eight trees in Boston and nine in Cambridge, which will be completed in mid-July. Trees that will be transplanted are marked with a green ribbon. Please refer to the Tree Protection and Removal Plan on the project website for details.

 

WHAT’S NEW

WSC will implement Traffic Stage 1 in mid July 2013. The proposed traffic management plan for Stage 1 includes closing the west side of the bridge for construction and shifting Boston-bound traffic to the east side of the bridge. Cambridge-bound traffic will be detoured using a signed route that starts at Charles Circle and uses Charles Street and Storrow Drive to reach Leverett Circle, a left turn onto Monsignor O’Brien Highway and a left onto Land Boulevard to reach the Kendall Square area. View the proposed detour map.

Preliminary work on Main Street in Cambridge includes removing trees just north of the MBTA’s Kendall portal and modifications to the median to install jersey barriers to accommodate the traffic shift. Please view the public notice of the preliminary work and map of the Main Street median crossover.

Ongoing preliminary work in Boston, includes new signals, curbing modifications and lane restriping at Charles Circle to accommodate the new traffic pattern of inbound traffic entering the circle on the east side. Additional modifications are being made at Mugar Way and the Storrow Drive westbound off-ramp to accommodate construction of the new pedestrian bridge.

July 10, 2013 Public Meeting

MassDOT has scheduled a public meeting on July 10 at 7 PM at MIT in Building E 25, Room 111 to discuss traffic management and monitoring plans. For more information, please View the Meeting Notice.

 

 

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