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GLX to Begin Demolishing Section of Lechmere Viaduct This Weekend

Posted on June 5, 2020

Elevated steel and concrete structure between Gilmore Bridge and Lechmere Station to be removed, relocated, and reconstructed.

Demolition will occur for about 2 weeks between hours of 7 AM - 10 PM.

The MBTA announced today that demolition of the Lechmere Viaduct between the Gilmore Bridge and existing Lechmere Station in East Cambridge will begin on Saturday, June 6. The work will further advance the relocation and reconstruction of the new Lechmere Station now underway as part of the Green Line Extension project (GLX). The project, scheduled for completion in December 2021, will extend Green Line service from the new Lechmere Station along two new branches to Union Square in Somerville and to College Avenue/Tufts University in Medford.

Demolition work will take place beginning this weekend and continue for approximately 2 weeks, followed by overnight work. During weekend work, vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic will be detoured around the work area. During the following 2 weeks, traffic detours will not be in place on weekdays, though lane closures may occur. Through close collaboration with MassDOT’s District 6 Highway Division and the City of Cambridge, GLX has prepared a comprehensive transportation management plan, which includes detailed police officers and carefully defined detours for truck and vehicular traffic, pedestrians, and bicyclists. This plan is designed to change as work zones are moved day-to-day along the alignment. 

Work taking place this weekend will necessitate diverting northbound/outbound traffic beginning at 9 PM tonight through 5 AM on Monday, June 8. The weekend activity will primarily involve the installation of safety barriers to prevent debris from falling outside of designated work zones. 

Following the weekend preparation work, the elevated deck structure will be sawcut into sections and lifted out of the work area by crane to reduce vibration and dust impacts to nearby buildings. The hours of operation for demolition activity are 7 AM to 10 PM, 7 days per week with demolition expected to last approximately 2 weeks. While this work will be ongoing during weekdays, lanes of traffic may be closed, but traffic will not be detoured.

Overnight work will follow and is expected to include cleanup and staging in preparation for further demolition activities the following day.  Upon completion of this upcoming demolition work, the process for reconstructing the viaduct will continue through the summer.

Weekend Detour Routes

Beginning Saturday morning, June 6, the northbound (outbound) lane of Monsignor O’Brien Highway will be closed to through traffic from Charlestown Avenue (Gilmore Bridge) to Leighton Street. 

During this phase, all pedestrians traveling west will be directed to follow Monsignor O’Brien Highway on the south sidewalk, make a left on Cambridge Street, turn right on Second Street, turn right on Gore Street, and proceed to Monsignor O’Brien Highway.

Trucks and motor vehicles will travel south on Edwin H. Land Boulevard, turn right on Binney Street, turn right on Third Street, and proceed to Monsignor O’Brien Highway.

Bicyclists will be directed to travel south on Edwin H. Land Boulevard, turn right at Cambridge Place, turn right on First Street, turn left on Cambridge Street, turn right on Third Street, and proceed to Monsignor O’Brien Highway.

The MBTA appreciates the patience and understanding of motorists and others affected by these bridge closures as the GLX Project Team continues to make strides in delivering GLX to the region on schedule. The MBTA also thanks its city partners, municipal leaders, and stakeholder groups for their continued collaboration and support of GLX.

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