Mass Pike Lane Closures Ended Three Weeks Early

You heard that right. One disruptive part of the Comm. Ave. Bridge project is over.

Photo via MassDOT

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a public works project that, in a surprise turn, completes something three weeks ahead of schedule. But that’s exactly what has happened on the Mass Pike, officials say. The highway returned to four lanes in both directions on Monday, in time for the morning commute, MassDOT has announced.

The Pike had been reduced to two lanes as part of the massive ongoing project to replace the Comm. Ave. Bridge—a move that had made traveling on the Pike a nightmare pretty much all day. Officials warned drivers to add an additional 90 minutes to their expected commute.

But MassDOT says that thanks to some smart and efficient maneuvering, the equipment stored on the roadway for the project is no longer needed and has been moved. Originally, it was anticipated that the Pike would see lane reductions through August 28.

“The hard work of our crews and contractors is allowing us to meet this important milestone ahead of schedule,” Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack says in a statement. “Our team has designed this major construction project in a way that considers the needs of the traveling public, as well as residents of the Greater Boston area, and we are pleased with the progress of work so far.”

This doesn’t mean the project as a whole is three weeks ahead of schedule, though. Officials say disruptions, including shuttles on the Green Line, are still expected to continue as planned through August 14. The BU Bridge and Comm. Ave. between Packard’s Corner and Kenmore Square will remain closed. Also, there will still be some lane closures during the project, but only during off-peak hours.

But still, the reopening of the Pike this early is a pretty big deal, even if it’s merely, as Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver puts it, “an important but interim milestone.”