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.
MassDOT's contractor, White-Skanska-Consigli (WSC), anticipates setting up the final configuration of Stage 3 by Thursday, February 11, 2016. Learn more about Stage 3 in the Construction Updates section below.
MassDOT held public information meetings in Cambridge on January 20 and in Boston on January 21. The purpose of the meetings was to provide an update on progress and discuss upcoming Stage 3 construction. The same presentation was given at both meetings. View the meeting presentation 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.
Stage 3 Begins February 11, 2016
WSC anticipates setting up the final configuration of Stage 3 by Thursday, February 11, 2016. The installation of the upstream "Salt and Pepper" towers, hampered by the cold temperatures of mid-January, is complete with the last stones installed the week of January 25. Now that the towers are complete, removal of the staging will begin the weekend of January 29, followed by the placement of concrete sidewalks and curbs adjacent to the towers. Once the sidewalks and curbs are in place the final sections of temporary fence needed for the new upstream bicycle lane can be installed. WSC anticipates the final set up for the upstream bicycle lane will be complete by the end of the day on Thursday, February 11, 2016 when inbound and outbound bike travel is shifted. Stage 3 work will take approximately eight months to complete. View the Stage 3 Graphic for travel space configuration along the Longfellow Bridge.
All bike travel, both inbound and outbound, will be shifted to the sidewalk on the upstream side of the bridge on February 11. During this stage, inbound vehicles and all pedestrians will continue to use the downstream side of the bridge.
Red Line Configuration
The construction of the temporary outbound Red Line track (called a "shoo-fly") on the roadway is complete. The outbound trains were shifted to the shoo-fly track and the inbound trains were shifted to the old outbound track in mid-January. Relocation of the large barrier fence along the track will be completed by February 1. The shift allows WSC to rehabilitate the bridge under the current location of the MBTA inbound tracks.
Pedestrian Bridge Construction
MassDOT began construction of the new pedestrian 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. WSC will construct the new bridge during daytime hours from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Periodic lane closures on Storrow Drive will be necessary to protect public safety. Closures for materials delivery and to move equipment will be scheduled for off-peak travel times to minimize traffic impacts. Vibration monitors will be placed near structures closest to the construction and noise will be monitored as necessary. The old pedestrian bridge will remain in service until the new one is complete, which is scheduled for 2017. View the Pedestrian Bridge Construction advisory for more information.
Modified Stage 2 Construction
In November, MassDOT's contractor, White-Skanska-Consigli (WSC), shifted traffic on the downstream side of the Longfellow Bridge to accommodate modified Stage 2 construction of the temporary outbound Red Line track (called a “shoo-fly”) on the roadway. WSC began the work early to advance the schedule and minimize the risk of delays due to winter weather. Stage 2 will last approximately three months, through January 2016. During Stage 2, WSC will also close the Longfellow Bridge to all vehicular traffic overnight. Details about the traffic shift and overnight closures are below. View the Modified Stage 2 Graphic for new travel space configurations. 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.
Temporary Traffic Shift
The Red Line "shoo-fly" track construction requires temporarily narrowing the space for vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians on the downstream side of the bridge. The traffic shift is necessary to maintain two-way bike travel across the bridge until construction of the upstream side is complete and all bike travel is shifted to it. While the temporary traffic shift is in place, inbound bikes continue to use a dedicated lane on the roadway, which has been shifted to the east away from the MBTA Red Line tracks. Inbound vehicles have also been shifted to the east, so the temporary tracks can be installed. Outbound bikes and pedestrians now share the sidewalk. Bicyclists are asked to walk their bikes across the bridge to ensure the safety of all users, and signs are posted noting this requirement. This configuration differs from the original Stage 2 plan where bike travel in both directions would have been shifted to the upstream side of the bridge for construction of the temporary track.