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

MassDOT will close the Longfellow Bridge to all vehicular traffic overnight from Monday, May 23, through Thursday, May 26. The bridge will be closed from 11:00 PM each night to 5:00 AM the following morning. Bike, pedestrian, and MBTA Red Line travel will be maintained. The closures are necessary to perform utility work through manholes in the downstream roadway.

MassDOT has scheduled two public information meetings:

  • Tuesday, May 24, at 6:00 PM – Multicultural Arts Center in Cambridge
  • Wednesday, May 25, at 6:00 PM – Shriners Hospitals for Children (Auditorium) in Boston

The purpose of the meetings is to provide an update on recent progress and discuss Stage 4 of construction, anticipated to begin in late July 2016. View the May 2016 Meetings Notice for more details.

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 3 Construction

On February 11, WSC implemented the final configuration for Stage 3 of construction. The installation of the last stones of the upstream "Salt and Pepper" towers was completed the week of January 25. All staging around the towers has been removed and the concrete sidewalks and curbing adjacent to the towers have been replaced. Final adjustments included installing temporary fencing between the construction work zone and the upstream sidewalk, and marking the designated inbound and outbound bike lanes on the sidewalk. All bike travel, both inbound and outbound, now uses the sidewalk on the upstream side of the bridge. During this stage, inbound vehicles and all pedestrians will continue to use the downstream side of the bridge. Stage 3 work to rehabilitate the bridge under the old inbound Red Line tracks will take approximately eight months to complete. View the Stage 3 Graphic for travel space configuration along the Longfellow Bridge.

Bike Travel at Boston Approach

When approaching Charles Circle from the Longfellow Bridge, inbound bikes will come off the upstream sidewalk and head left across the inactive inbound roadway to join the existing bike lane at the Charles Street traffic signal. From the Charles Street traffic signal, bikes may go straight across to continue on Charles Street or go left to Cambridge Street.

To access the Longfellow Bridge from Charles Circle, outbound bikes 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 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. Cyclists should use caution and watch for pedestrians in the crosswalks and construction vehicles accessing the bridge.

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 share the sidewalk with pedestrians along Memorial Drive westbound to cross under the Longfellow Bridge. Cyclists 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 sidewalk.

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

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 has also been completed. 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.

 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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