Three Somerville Bridge Closures to Affect Charlestown for Green Line Extension

The Green Line Extension (GLX) Project continues on schedule, with the next milestone being the closure of the Washington Street Bridge (Underpass) in East Somerville on the night of Monday, April 8.

A new bridge will be constructed through the fall 2020, and that closure – along with two others – are likely to greatly affect traffic in Charlestown.

Last week, the Broadway Bridge in Ball Square closed on March 22 and successfully removed over last weekend. This bridge will be completely reconstructed and is anticipated to return to service in March 2020. The closure of the Medford Street Bridge in Gilman Square will close from July 2019 through spring 2020. The temporary closure of these three bridges in Somerville is necessary to advance GLX construction, which includes infrastructure improvements as well as widening efforts to accommodate the addition of new Green Line light rail tracks and rights of way.

Traffic detours continue to be in place for each closure with motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists encouraged to plan accordingly. Commuters traveling through Medford, Somerville, Cambridge, and Charlestown should anticipate additional travel times and are advised to seek an alternate route if possible for the duration of each bridge closure. Due to the nature of construction, bridge closure schedules are subject to change.

• Beginning on April 8, 2019, traffic headed east will be detoured around the Washington Street Underpass via a left turn on McGrath Highway from Washington Street, a right turn on Broadway, and continuing onto Maffa Way to Sullivan Square. Traffic headed west will be detoured around the Washington Street Underpass via the Main Street exit from the Sullivan Square traffic circle, continuing on to Mystic Avenue, turning left on to Lombardi Street, taking the second right on to Broadway, turning left on to McGrath Highway, and turning right on to Washington Street. 

The Washington Street Bridge will be completely reconstructed. With work being accomplished in phases, preliminary activities already took place in late 2018 with more significant work occurring during the upcoming closures beginning on April 8 through fall 2019 and from spring 2020 to fall 2020. When complete, the new Washington Street Bridge will feature improved drainage, structural improvements, and will incorporate elements of the upcoming Community Path.

During the closure period through March 2020, a new Broadway Bridge will be reconstructed, which will be wide enough to require a center column pier-style foundation. The new bridge will also include new east and west abutment foundations and walls as well as a lengthened roadway surface deck.

During the Medford Street Bridge closure beginning in July 2019 through spring 2020, the existing pier and abutment structures that support the bridge will be reconstructed and widened to accommodate the presence of both the commuter rail and new Green Line track areas.

The GLX “Phase 1” construction contract is already complete. Work included the reconstruction of the Harvard Street Railroad Bridge in Medford and the Medford Street Railroad Bridge in Somerville as well as the demolition of the MBTA-owned facilities at 21 Water St in Cambridge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.