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.

detours Traffic Warning: Craigie Drawbridge Repairs Begin Saturday


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

Comments (7)
  1. Route93Commuter says:

    Can hardly wait for the traffic nightmare to begin!

  2. Bostobcabbie says:

    Not only that, but Monday November 8, work starts on route 99 {Alford St} in Everett and Charlestown, which is a feeder road to the Gilmore bridge,which leads to route 28 which is the Cragie bridge route. Commuting from the nearby northeast communities is going to be gridlock from Everett, Medford. Malden , Chelsea, and Somerville. This is going to be a big test of commuter’s patience, which they have very little of now.

  3. Italo says:

    Will this construction take place 24/7 in some fashion, thereby giving a chance for employment for many workers who could use it, not to mention speeding up the work more? Or, because this is Mass., will we be kidnapped by the unions and this work won’t be able to ever take place any nights, because the wages will be doubled and so commuters simply have to suffer during daytime driving hours? Just a thought. Being this is Boston, I doubt this option, or different cities coordinating the start/end dates of their respective major bridge or highway reconstruction projects, matters very much.

  4. Gspan says:

    I f you like nights maybe you could volunteer to keep price down or take the t instead of being inconvenienced 5 minutes

  5. EMOM says:

    So glad i dont commute to boston good luck folks

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