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GLX Continues on Schedule with Washington Street Bridge Closure April 8

Posted on March 26, 2019

Broadway Bridge closed last week, successfully removed.


The Green Line Extension (GLX) Project continues on schedule. The next milestone will be the closure of the Washington Street Bridge (Underpass) in East Somerville on the night of Monday, April 8. A new bridge will be constructed through the fall 2020.

The Broadway Bridge in Ball Square was closed on March 22 and was successfully removed over the weekend. 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 3 bridges in Somerville is necessary to advance GLX 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. Due to the nature of construction, bridge closure schedules are subject to change.

Beginning on April 8, 2019, 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. 

Traffic detour map during Washington Street Bridge closure. See text for details.

Further details for each of the 3 bridge closures, including directions and helpful area maps, can be found at www.greenlineextension.org.

Learn how bus routes 86, 91, and CT2 will be detoured

The Washington Street Bridge requires a complete reconstruction of abutments and structural span in order to accommodate the addition of the new light rail transit service 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. 

The Washington Street Bridge will be completely reconstructed. With work being accomplished in phases, preliminary activities already took place in late 2018 with more significant work occurring during the upcoming closures beginning on April 8 through fall 2019 and from spring 2020 to fall 2020. 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 community members 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 continued collaboration and support of GLX.

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