Ted Williams Tunnel to be Closed at Night This Week

The following announcement came from MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has announced that the Ted Williams Tunnel in Boston, which carries vehicles traveling on I-90, will be closed to all vehicular traffic during overnight hours on most nights next week. These closures will be implemented on evenings between approximately 11:30 p.m., and 5 a.m., and are necessary to allow crews to safely and effectively conduct milling, paving and concrete repair operations. During these overnight closures, vehicles will be detoured to the Sumner Tunnel and trucks will be directed north on Route 1A to the Tobin Bridge. The full dates of these overnights closures are as follows:

•  Evening of Monday, June 3

• Evening of Tuesday, June 4

• Evening of Wednesday June 5

• Evening of Friday, June 7

• Evening of Saturday, June 8

Signage and messaging will be in place to notify drivers of these operations. MassDOT encourages the public to be mindful of potential traffic impacts.

MassDOT Releases Advice for Memorial Day Travelers

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) advises Memorial Day holiday travelers to plan ahead, utilize MassDOT’s “real time” travel tools to plan trips, and use public transportation if possible to reach destinations. On Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, Registry of Motor Vehicle customer service locations and all other Commonwealth of Massachusetts offices are closed. In addition, on Monday, the I-93 HOV lane will not be deployed, all MBTA subway, trolleys, commuter rail and buses will operate on Sunday schedules, and the MassDOT Highway Assistance Program will have extra patrols on state roads. “We traditionally see more vehicles on the roadways throughout Memorial Day weekend, so members of the public should plan their trips in advance and make smart decisions before setting out for their destinations,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver.  “Anyone who will be driving should consider traveling during off-peak hours, build extra time into their trips, and check MassDOT’s Go Time app or other wayfinding navigational tools to help with decisions on which roads to take and when to travel.”

Per long-standing policy, MassDOT will be shutting down scheduled roadway construction activities on Friday, May 24, at 5 a.m. Scheduled road work will then resume at the start of business on Tuesday, May 28. 

The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy will have normal morning hours this week and will extend its afternoon hours on Thursday, May 23, to be open on Thursday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Friday, May 24, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. The HOV lane will not be deployed on Monday, May 27. Normal HOV lane operations will resume on Tuesday, May 28. The Sumner Tunnel Swing Lane will be open on Thursday, May 23, at 1 p.m. The Swing Lane will also be open throughout the holiday period beginning at 12 p.m., Friday, May 24, until 5 a.m., Tuesday, May 28.

Watertown Bus Routes will be Impacted by Changes Approved by MBTA

Bus service in Watertown may be changed for the better after an MBTA board approved changes to dozens of bus routes around the region. Out of 47 proposals to change the T’s bus routes, 36 received approval from the Fiscal and Management Control Board, including nine that had modifications. The proposals impact two sets of buses in Watertown: the 70/70A route and the 502 and 504 express buses. The board also approved 45 additional bus operators to increase off-peak service on some of the busiest routes. The 70/70A will see some a major changs in the route through Waltham, which MBTA officials say will improve frequency and reliability along the whole route from Central Square in Cambridge to Waltham.

Mass. Pike Exit 17 to be Closed for Walk for Hunger

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has announced that the I-90 westbound Exit 17 off-ramp in Newton will be closed to all vehicular traffic on Sunday, May 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This temporary off-ramp closure is necessary to facilitate the annual Walk for Hunger. MassDOT encourages the public to be mindful of this traffic impact. Those traveling through the area should reduce speed and use caution. The schedule for this work is weather dependent and subject to change without notice. For more information on traffic conditions, travelers are encouraged to:

Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions.Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

OP-ED: Sen. Brownsberger’s Update on Proposed MBTA Bus Changes

The following piece was provided by State Sen. Will Brownsberger, who represents Watertown, Belmont and parts of Boston. The MBTA has been listening carefully to public feedback about the 47 cost-neutral bus route changes that service planners are proposing across the region. At their meeting on April 8, the MBTA’s board offered a “sense of the board” supporting 36 of the proposals. Board members deferred final approval to give themselves time to review in full detail the equity analysis for the whole package. When final approval is provided, as appears likely, the package will be the most significant set of route changes in memory.

Marathon Monday Transportation Tips from the MBTA

The 123rd Boston Marathon will take place on Patriots’ Day, April 15, 2019. The MBTA provided information about getting around during the marathon, and getting to the finish line in Copley Square. See the info below. The Boston Marathon draws thousands of runners and spectators each Patriots’ Day—the third Monday in April. The 123rd Boston Marathon is April 15, 2019.

Proposed Changes to Buses in Watertown, Fare Hikes Discussed at MBTA Meeting

Residents learned about proposed changes to MBTA service in and around Watertown on Monday night at the Watertown Police Station. MBTA officials visited Watertown Monday night to talk about changes to bus routes, increasing T fares and offering new ways for riders to pay fares. Those who attended the open house at the Watertown Police Station’s Community Room were eager to see ways the public transit system could be improved. Changing Routes

One of the biggest topics of interest was the MBTA’s proposals to change to routes in efforts to make them more efficient and reliable. Among the routes that are part of the Better Bus Project are the 70/70A and the express buses that come and go from Watertown Yard.

Snowfall Wednesday Night Could Impact Evening Commute, See MassDOT Info

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising the public that the National Weather Service is forecasting snowfall to spread from west to east across the Commonwealth beginning late this afternoon and into Thursday morning with accumulations of several inches in some areas. The forecast is for dry weather by Thursday afternoon. “Everyone traveling should monitor the forecast and expect to travel at slower speeds when the snow is falling,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We advise people to drive the conditions during the storm which means keeping a safe distance behind other vehicles and allowing for plenty of time to slow down, and reducing speeds when making turns or traveling on highway on and off ramps.”

MassDOT’s snow and ice operations will be deployed throughout the Commonwealth as conditions necessitate. Highway Districts always conduct preparation activities in advance of new weather systems and are able to pretreat roadways with brine and Magnesium Chloride when necessary. In the most severe storms, MassDOT’s Highway Division is able to utilize up to 700 personnel to perform snow and ice removal operations on more than 15,000 lane miles of roadway throughout the Commonwealth.