BOSTON (CBS) – Police in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville are bracing for what they freely admit will be a traffic nightmare starting Saturday when construction begins on the Craigie Drawbridge.
That will shut down both inbound travel lanes on the McGrath-O’Brien Highway until December when a temporary bridge will be installed.
State Highway Commissioner Luisa Paiewonsky told WBZ News Radio Friday it won’t end there.
“In December, after we install a temporary bridge and demolish the existing bridge, we will open the lanes again over the temporary span until February. And then in February, as we’re installing the new bridge, we will be closing those two inbound lanes again until April, when the bridge will be completed.”
WBZ Producer Jon MacLean talks to State Highway Commissioner Luisa Paiewonsky.
The drawbridge, which is right near the Museum of Science, is used by tens of thousands of drivers every day.
Transportation officials say replacing the bridge is a necessity.
Commuters will see signs recommending alternate routes from miles away and they need to follow them.
Click map to view detours.
Read: Traffic Detours from MassDOT
“We’re expecting pretty significant traffic impact, especially in the early days of the new traffic scheme,” Paiewonsky said.
“There’s no escaping the fact that there will be significant traffic impact and the best thing we can do is get the contractor in and out as quickly as possible so that traffic can get back to normal.”
Once the new bridge is complete, Paiewonsky said it should look similar to the old one, but with some improvements for pedestrians.
WBZ-TV’s Peg Rusconi reports from the Craigie Bridge