State transportation officials are warning motorists to be prepared for delays as work continues on the Commonwealth Avenue bridge replacement project.
While Monday morning’s rush hour went better than expected, officials are still concerned that the rest of the week could bring more congestion on the roads due to lanes being closed on the Massachusetts Turnpike.
Tuesday morning’s rush hour got off to a decent start, but it didn’t last long. By 8 a.m., eastbound traffic on the Pike had backed up several miles to Newton and Watertown, according to MassDOT’s live traffic map.
Jonathan Gulliver, the state’s acting highway administrator, has repeatedly cautioned motorists to avoid the area around the bridge and to take public transportation into the city if possible. For those who must drive in, he recommends adding an additional 90 minutes to the usual commuting time. Although commuters didn’t experience anywhere close to that lag time Monday, it could very well happen any other day this week.
“It’s really hard to tell what people will do,” Gulliver said at Monday’s press conference on Commonwealth Avenue. “We’re not going to be sure until tomorrow comes.”
The Pike has been reduced to four lanes for travel — two eastbound and two westbound — 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, and will go down to three lanes overnight, with construction activity determining whether eastbound or westbound traffic is reduced to one lane.