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Avoid Turnpike in Boston this weekend, officials advise

Planning to drive in Boston this weekend? Avoid the Massachusetts Turnpike.

That is the advice from state transportation officials. They say lanes will be closed and traffic will be redirected around the Turnpike this weekend as work begins on a construction project in the Prudential Tunnel.

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Beginning at 9 p.m. Friday, lane restrictions will be implemented on both the eastbound and westbound sides of the Turnpike. From 3 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday, traffic in both directions will be reduced to one lane, said transportation officials.

Detours will be put in place, and traffic probably will increase on streets in the Back Bay, officials said.

Because of the reduced number of lanes on the Turnpike, most of the ramps between the Allston/Brighton tolls and Interstate 93 in Boston will be closed, the Transportation Department said in a statement.

Drivers destined for Logan International Airport should use the Callahan Tunnel to approach it, officials said.

Motorists are advised to use Interstate 95 and Route 128 to reach points south or north of the city, rather than riding into the city on the Turnpike and heading south or north, officials said.

The same changes will be in place the last weekend in March and the first and last weekends in April, officials said.

State Police and transportation workers will redirect traffic, change signal times, restrict parking, and enforce detours during the four weekends. Driving during the week will be normal, officials said.

Travelers are encouraged to take public transportation, seek alternate routes, and allow extra time during this period.

For more information and a specific construction schedule, travelers can visit prutunnelproject.info .

Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at jacqueline.tempera@globe.com. Follow her on twitter @jacktemp
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