Accelerated Bridge Program Massachusetts Department of transporatation

About This Project

MassDOT is undertaking the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project, one of five major projects of the Commonwealth's $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program. The historic bridge, with its iconic "salt and pepper" towers, is a vital link between Boston and Cambridge, making important regional connections and contributing to the Charles River Basin Historic District.

The project will address the bridge's current structural deficiencies, upgrade its structural capacity and bring it up to modern code, including improving multi-modal access and bridge-to-city-street connections to meet accessibility guidelines. The repairs and modifications will be consistent with the historic character of the bridge and comply with environmental standards.

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What's New

The Longfellow Bridge will be closed from Sunday, May 20, through Thursday, May 24, and on Tuesday, May 29, and Wednesday, May 30 from 11:00 PM each night until 5:00 AM the following morning.

The Memorial Drive/Land Boulevard eastbound sidewalk, also known as the Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path, in the vicinity of the Longfellow Bridge is closed from Monday, May 21, through Monday, May 28, from 5:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day. View the Eastbound Memorial Drive/Land Boulevard sidewalk detour map for more information.

The left lane of Main Street westbound in Kendall Square will be closed into this summer to construct the final alignment of the roadway and a new median between the MBTA Red Line portal and Third Street. Additionally, daily lane shifts will occur Mondays through Fridays on Main Street east and westbound. Visit the Traffic Information page and view the Main Street Realignment figure for more information.

Visit the Traffic Information page for weekly updates on lane closures and details on other traffic management activities, including detour routes, during the current construction phase. View the Construction Updates section to learn more about current construction activities.

Construction Updates

Stage 4 and 6 Construction

All modes of transportation use the upstream side of the Longfellow Bridge to accommodate the combined Stages 4 & 6 of construction. Under this combination plan, WSC will simultaneously rehabilitate the bridge under the MBTA outbound track (Stage 4) and reconstruct the downstream roadway and sidewalk (previously planned for Stage 6). With this modification, the contractor anticipates having bicyclists and pedestrians in their final configuration and vehicle travel open in each direction in May 2018. Substantial completion will be reached on August 1, 2018. View the Stage 4 & 6 Graphic for travel space configuration along the Longfellow Bridge. Stage 5 will be performed after the combined Stages 4 & 6. View the full beneficial use graphic for details on the final configuration for all modes of travel on the bridge. During demolition activities, the contractor will stop the noisiest work, such as jackhammering, by 11:00 PM.

Stage 4 & 6 Travel Configuration

To accommodate the combined construction phase, all modes of travel will use the upstream side of the bridge.

  • Inbound vehicles use the upstream roadway to cross the Longfellow Bridge.
  • Inbound bicyclists have a new 5-foot wide designated bike lane on the upstream roadway.
  • Pedestrians use the upstream sidewalk for travel in both directions.
  • Stay Safe, Share The SpaceOutbound bicyclists share the upstream sidewalk with pedestrians. The new upstream sidewalk is 8 feet 9 inches wide and can accommodate one bike lane and pedestrians.
  • While outbound cyclists may ride their bikes on the sidewalk, MassDOT asks that bicyclists and pedestrians use caution and respect the rights of everyone to use public infrastructure in this temporary shared configuration.
  • MBTA and emergency response access across the bridge will be maintained at all times.

Bike Travel at Boston Approach

When approaching Charles Circle from the Longfellow Bridge, inbound bikes will stop along with inbound cars at the traffic signal. From the Cambridge Street traffic signal, bikes may go straight across to continue on Cambridge Street or go right to Charles Street.

To access the Longfellow Bridge from Charles Circle, outbound bike will use the bike lane along Cambridge Street to turn left onto Charles Street, crossing under the MBTA Charles/MGH Station. Outbound bikes will then turn right after the traffic signal to cross onto the sidewalk on the upstream side of the bridge.

View the Boston Approach graphic for inbound and outbound bike routes around Charles Circle. Signs and road markings will guide cyclists along these routes. Bicyclists should use caution, watch for pedestrians, and obey traffic signals in Charles Circle.

Bike Travel at Cambridge Approach

When approaching Kendall Square, outbound bikes will turn left and follow the existing sidewalk left towards Memorial Drive westbound. Outbound bikes will continue to share the sidewalk with pedestrians along Memorial Drive westbound to cross under the Longfellow Bridge. Bicyclists will then turn left to merge onto the exit ramp for Main Street.

To access the Longfellow Bridge from Kendall Square, inbound bikes will use the bike lane along Main Street to continue straight onto the upstream roadway across the Longfellow Bridge. Inbound bikes will have a dedicated five foot wide bike lane next to the inbound vehicles travel lane on the upstream roadway.

View the Cambridge Approach graphic for inbound and outbound bike routes. Signs and road markings will guide cyclists along these routes. Bicyclists should use caution and watch for pedestrians and turning vehicles.

Red Line Configuration

The construction of the temporary inbound Red Line track (called a "shoo-fly") on the roadway is complete. The inbound trains were shifted to the shoo-fly track and the outbound trains were shifted to the newly constructed, future inbound track in mid-July. The shift allows WSC to rehabilitate the bridge under the current location of the MBTA outbound tracks.

Pedestrian Bridge Construction

MassDOT began construction of the new Frances "Fanny" Appleton bridge connecting the Esplanade with Charles Circle in November 2015. Work started on the Esplanade side of Storrow Drive to the west of the existing bridge. To expedite work, the contractor installed the concrete footings in late 2016/early 2017 when crews were available. Steel arches and beams were installed in fall 2017 and work will continue through summer 2018. The old pedestrian bridge will remain in service until the new one is complete, which is scheduled for August 1, 2018.

 Contact Us
MassDOT is committed to public outreach throughout construction. An issues tracking system during construction ensures that problems and concerns are addressed in a timely manner.
To report issues or concerns or for questions related to construction, please use the dedicated project hotline, 617-519-9892, or email address,
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