The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is urging travelers to ditch their cars as work begins on Sumner Tunnel and temporary closures are posted.
MassDOT estimates the nearly 100-year-old structure that connects East Boston and Logan Airport to downtown Boston sees 39,000 vehicles travel it per day.
Over the past year the tunnel has been closed several times for maintenance. Starting July 5, the tunnel will be closed seven days a week through August 31.
State Highway Administrator Johnathon Gulliver says he anticipates heavy congestion and “major impacts” for drivers during the eight weeks of construction.
“Believe us when we tell you that the worst commute you’re going to have is on the road through this area so if you can take another way, you should do it,” Gulliver said.
Gulliver expects the traffic disruptions to add an hour or more to commutes.
MassDOT, Massport and the MBTA have been working for months to come up with travel alternatives to encourage drivers to use other means of transportation during the closures.
The MBTA’s Blue Line or the East Boston Ferry have been suggested as alternatives, and will be free for riders during the closures.
Driving traffic will otherwise be diverted to the Ted Williams Tunnel and the Tobin Bridge.
“The more people avoid traveling through that area, the better,” Gulliver said. "We really want to encourage people to ditch the drive and find a different mode of travel."
For those who cannot avoid driving during the construction Gulliver recommends visiting the Mass 511 website to best avoid congestion while traveling.
Source: WBUR Radio