Reminder: Washington Street Bridge Closure Begins Tonight as Green Line Extension Project Advances
Posted on April 8, 2019
The MBTA reminds the public that the Washington Street Bridge (Underpass) in East Somerville will close tonight, April 8, with a new bridge to be constructed through the fall 2020.
The Broadway Bridge in Ball Square was closed March 22 and was successfully removed at the end of March. 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 Green Line Extension 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 Boston should anticipate additional travel times and are advised to seek an alternate route if possible for the duration of each bridge closure.
Beginning tonight, 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 requires a complete reconstruction of abutments and structural span in order to accommodate the Green Line Extension and the Community Path. The closures of the Broadway and the Medford Street Bridges are necessary in order to accommodate new Green Line light rail tracks. Currently, both bridges are only wide enough to accommodate the existing commuter rail service that operates beneath them.
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 Street in Cambridge.
The MBTA appreciates the continued patience of the community and others affected by these bridge closures as the GLX Project Team makes progress in expanding the Green Line. The MBTA also thanks its city partners, municipal leaders, and stakeholder groups for their ongoing collaboration and support of GLX.