BOSTON (CBS) – The next phase in the Tobin Bridge project is underway and drivers can expect heavy delays.
A two-year construction project on the bridge began back on April 1. The second phase of construction started Tuesday morning.
One lane will now be closed on the southbound side of Route 1 in Chelsea, through the Chelsea curves leading up to the Tobin Bridge.
“Right now we only have one lane,” said driver Anthony Caterson. “So you know it’s terrible.”
The existing lane closures on the northbound side will be expanded about a half a mile into the Chelsea curves and stay in place for two years.
“This is a very difficult project with a lot of impacts, especially the next few weeks are going to be difficult,” said Jonathan Gulliver, MassDOT Highway Administrator.
In an effort to ease traffic, the HOV lane on Interstate 93 south between Medford and the Zakim Bridge will be open to all drivers for the next two years as well.
“It’ll probably take me an extra 20 minutes, I would say, maybe more. I’m optimistic,” one driver told WBZ-TV Tuesday.
“I always take the Tobin, I’m always running late when I go to Chelsea,” said another.
MassDOT is also suggesting drivers take advantage of the extra MBTA Blue Line trains, use the Silver Line bus service or the commuter rail and, if you have the option, change your schedule.
Another major concern brought up by drivers is the new casino in Everett just weeks away from opening. “Wait until it opens, you won’t be able to get near it, that’s how bad it’s going to be,” said Paul Norrish of East Boston.
The work is expected to be done by 2021.
For more information, visit the MassDOT website.