Mass. highway chief calls attention to this summer’s Sumner Tunnel closure

Must Read

Massachusetts’ highway chief is worried that not enough Bay State motorists are aware another lengthy closure of the Sumner Tunnel is coming this summer, and he wants transportation officials to help spread the word.

For the second straight year, the 89-year-old tunnel will close to motorists for an extended period of repairs, albeit for a single month this time around instead of two. While providing an overview of the roughly $160 million project to the Department of Transportation’s board Wednesday, Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said more still needs to be done to alert commuters.

“Any time we have a multi-year project like this, and I’d ask the board to help with this, the interest in it after you’ve completed one successful phase tends to die off a little bit. People are not paying as much attention,” Gulliver said. “We have been out there in the press, but I do remain concerned that the public may not be as focused on it as we would like them to be.”

“I’d ask everybody to really talk to their friends and family and others to make sure that they know this is coming and to be aware of it, especially if they’re starting to plan any travel this summer,” he added. “Especially avoid that one-month period as much as possible or travel in the middle of the day when traffic’s lightest.”

This year’s closure will run nonstop from July 5 through Aug. 5, half the duration originally scheduled. MassDOT announced the new timeline earlier this month, and said the tunnel will be closed on more weekends before and after the continuous month-long closure to account for the change.

On the Friday before Labor Day Weekend, the partially refurbished Sumner Tunnel was finally open after months of work.

Gulliver said weekend closures might last until about Thanksgiving, excluding some holidays, depending on how much work crews can complete during the full month.

“That’s a really, really important approach for us. As you hear me say often, it makes it more manageable. We know that that was a very, very heavy lift for travelers into Logan and especially for residents of East Boston last year, a massive inconvenience, even though it was more limited than expected,” he said. “This year, it’s even going to be smaller. One month [offline] is not something we want to impose on anybody, to take away a main mode of transportation, but this is certainly much better than the alternative that we had originally expected to do.”

The state will offer several alternative transportation services during the closure, including fare-free rides on the MBTA’s Blue Line and lower costs on the commuter rail, buses and ferries.

Latest News

Daily horoscope for June 22, 2024

Moon Alert: There are no restrictions to shopping or important decisions today. The Moon is in Sagittarius. Happy Birthday for...

More Articles Like This