BOSTON (CBS) – The Commonwealth Avenue Bridge replacement project is getting what officials are calling a “dry run” this weekend.
Two lanes in both directions of the Massachusetts Turnpike from the Allston-Brighton interchange to the Beacon Street overpass in Boston are going to be blocked off from 11 p.m. Friday night through 5 a.m. Monday.
Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s District 3 Director Jonathan Gulliver says this weekend’s test is to find out how traffic will be impacted when the actual project begins in late July.
Gulliver also says the “zipper lines” are also going to be tested this weekend, seeing how motorists react to lane and direction changes.
He also says drivers in Boston should try to avoid using the Mass Pike in those areas this weekend.
MBTA spokesman Todd Johnson says that this weekend’s test will not affect subway or commuter rail service.
Transportation officials said in April that the bridge replacement will start July 28 and last until August 7th. It will also take two more summers to complete.
When the work begins in July, traffic on the Mass Pike, Commonwealth Avenue at BU, the Green Line, the MBTA Commuter Line, and Amtrak service from Albany, NY to the South Station will be impacted. Total cost of the project is estimated at $81,000,000.
Highway Administrator Thomas Tinlin said in April that even though structural defects are the reason the bridge is being replaced, it’s still safe to use.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports