The first of three bridge closures is approaching as plans to extend the Green Line into Somerville and Medford rolls into action.
The MassDOT announced that the Broadway Bridge between Ball Square and Magoun Square along the Somerville/Medford border will close on March 22, and is expected to be out of commission until March 2020. This means that drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and commuters on the 80 and 89 T bus routes need to plan on commuting through significant longstanding detours.
The extension plan involves building six new stations on two new Green Line branches into Medford and Union Square in Somerville. Lechmere Station will also be relocated and rebuilt in order to accommodate the new lines headed north from its current location.
According to a statement from the MassDOT, “the project will significantly reduce vehicle trips and related air emissions while increasing access to fast and reliable public transit service in historically underserved areas. The project is expected to support increased ridership of more than 50,000 passenger trips per day once completed.”
Officials said that a full demolition and rebuild of the Broadway Bridge is the only way to accommodate light-rail lines, commuter rail traffic, as well as cars and pedestrians. The project calls for late night and weekend work in order to complete construction during the window of time when commuter rails are not running. Residents are advised that work lights and noise will impact people near the construction sites.
MassDOT posted the following planned detours:
-Eastbound drivers on Broadway coming from the Powder House Rotary will head north onto Warner St, then make a right turn onto Main Street, followed by a left turn headed south back onto Broadway.
-Westbound drivers on Broadway will be detoured to a left turn headed south onto Cedar Street, followed by a right turn onto Highland Ave., and another right turn headed north onto College Ave.
-Eastbound pedestrians and cyclists will be detoured from Broadway, onto Boston Ave., followed by a right onto Harvard Street, another right onto Winchester Street, and finally a left back onto Broadway. The reverse of the eastbound route will service westbound pedestrians and cyclists.
-The Washington Street bridge underpass on the east side of Somerville is slated to close in April, and should reopen in fall 2019, before closing again in the spring until fall 2020. This will impact Washington Street east of McGrath Highway.