Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Project - UPDATED

UPDATE: Work on Phase 4 of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement is substantially complete.  Commonwealth Avenue and the BU Bridge have been reopened to all users.  Normal service has been resumed on the B Branch of the MBTA Green Line and bus routes 47 & CT2. All remaining "finishing" work will be done off-hours.

The Commonwealth Avenue westbound portion of the bridge has been fully replaced during a 16-day closure. (Stage 4: 2018 Construction Shutdown). Unlike last summer, during this phase of construction the BU Bridge was closed to buses.  Vehicles and buses had no access across the bridge. 

MassDOT reduced the number of lanes on I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) through Boston and closed the I-90 Eastbound on-ramp from Cambridge Street/Soldiers Field Road, the BU Bridge and sections of Commonwealth Avenue to all traffic in between July 26th and August 11th.  The closures were necessary for reconstruction of the bridge that carries Commonwealth Avenue and the MBTA Green Line over I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike). 

Significant traffic disruptions were expected during the 16-day construction period on the following roadways:

  • I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike)

  • Soldiers Field Road

  • Storrow Drive

  • Memorial Drive

  • Park Drive

  • Massachusetts Avenue

  • Beacon Street

  • Cambridge Street

  • Harvard Avenue/Harvard Street


The road closures and bridge reconstruction also impacted transit service.  The MBTA Green Line Boston College “B” branch was replaced with buses between Packard’s Corner and Kenmore Square.  During the closure, inbound trips to downtown Boston required passengers on the ‘B” branch to transfer from a train to a bus at Babcock Street station and then from the bus back to a train at Blandford Street Station. 

MBTA Bus Routes 47 & CT2 were detoured across the Massachusetts Avenue bridge during construction.  Route CT2 did not provide service in Cambridge west of Massachusetts Avenue and both routes did not provide service to bus stops between Commonwealth Avenue and Audubon Circle in Boston.  

MBTA commuter rail operated on normal schedules during the week but were unavailable during some weekends.   

Traffic and transit disruptions were expected to significantly impact travel between the Longwood Area and the following areas:

  • Kenmore Square

  • Central Square and Cambridgeport in Cambridge

  • Allston/Brighton

  • Coolidge Corner in Brookline

  • Logan Airport

  • Downtown Boston

  • Back Bay

  • South Boston Waterfront

  • Newton, Wellesley, Natick, and other communities to the west along I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike)

Access for emergency vehicles, local abutters, and pedestrians was maintained through the construction project during the traffic closures.  Access for bicycles was maintained along Commonwealth Avenue but there was a detour plan around the project area for bicycles currently using the BU Bridge to travel to the Longwood Area.  Please note that due to the constrained conditions at the base of the BU Bridge, bicycles needed to be walked between the BU Bridge and the Carlton Street crossing. 

This page provides updates on the construction project and information on alternative transportation options for employees, students, patients, and visitors to the Longwood Area.  For additional help, please contact the MASCO CommuteWorks Coordinator.    

MassDOT held 2 public meetings on the 2018 Phase of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project


Latest Project Updates

Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Reopened to Vehicular Traffic at 5:00 AM, Saturday, August 11th

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is pleased to announce that the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge reopened to vehicular traffic on Saturday, August 11th and by mid-day all lanes on the Boston University Bridge were scheduled to re-open. On Friday, August 10, the MBTA Green Line B bus shuttles over the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge were phased out after trains resumed normal service schedules yesterday afternoon on the B Line corridor.


Transportation Alternatives

Everyone is encouraged to help reduce travel through the area during the 18-day construction period.  Please consider the following options:

  1. Work from home: employees in the Longwood Area should explore their options for working from home during the closures.  Better yet, take advantage of the summer weather to schedule a vacation!

  2. Try Public Transportation: services like the MBTA Commuter Rail, the Orange Line from Wellington, and the Green Line from Riverside or Lechmere are great alternatives to sitting in traffic.

  3. Try Walking or Bicycling: build some exercise into your travel to and from the Longwood Area.  Many institutions in the Longwood Area have showers and locker rooms available to make these options easier for you during the hot summer months.

  4. Change Your Work Schedule: does your employer allow you to work flexible hours or a compressed work week?  If so, it may be easier for you to switch your commuting hours and avoid the added traffic during the bridge reconstruction.

  5. Form a Carpool: create a profile on Bay State Commute to find other area employees who wish to carpool. 

  6. Seek Alternate Driving Routes: travel conditions on I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike), Soldiers Field Road, Storrow Drive, Memorial Drive, Park Drive, Massachusetts Avenue, Beacon Street, Cambridge Street and Harvard Avenue/Harvard Street will be congested during the bridge reconstruction.  Please avoid travel on these streets as much as possible.


Links to Additional Information