- Massachusetts Department of Transportation
- Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Media Contact for Advisory: Somerville – MassDOT Announces September 18 Start of Squires Bridge Work
Jacquelyn Goddard, Director of Communications, MassDOT
Boston — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is announcing the work on the Squires Bridge, which carries Route 28/McGrath Highway over the Union Branch of the Green Line, the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line, and Somerville Avenue Extension, originally planned to take place in July and August, will commence on Monday, September 18.
In the time since the work was postponed on July 5, the work plan has been modified to reduce the duration from 42 days to 25 days. The work will take place over 25 consecutive days with efforts focused on completing critical beam end repairs, along with additional preventive actions, to ensure the bridge can remain open and safe for use.
Because the Squires Bridge work must be performed within the Green Line right of way, transit service on the Union Branch will terminate at Lechmere Station during construction. Bridge work will not impact motor vehicle travel across the bridge, Commuter Rail service on the Fitchburg Line, or Green Line service to Medford/Tufts.
The Squires Bridge is a critical component of the Route 28/McGrath Highway corridor which links Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville with communities to the north. On average, the Squires Bridge carries approximately 40,000 motor vehicles per day, roughly the equivalent of travel volumes through the Sumner Tunnel in Boston. Based on MBTA Green Line boarding information for January through March 2023, the MBTA estimates an average of approximately 1,550 customers board the Green Line at Union Square each weekday, with fewer estimated boardings on Saturdays and Sundays.
The bridge work, which was initially scheduled to start on July 18, was postponed while MassDOT and its contractors worked in collaboration with the MBTA to undertake a detailed review. The result is a plan that modifies the project scope, work sequencing, and methods to achieve time savings in order to minimize impacts to transit service while still allowing for the completion of the safety-critical work to the bridge.
“We know this will come as an inconvenience to Green Line riders and we have worked to adjust our construction schedule to minimize impacts as much as possible while balancing the need to complete necessary infrastructure work,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “With this new 25-day schedule, we can strike a better balance between completing important repairs while minimizing the impacts to transit service.”
Green Line customers are encouraged to consider alternative routes, which include the 86, 91, and CT2 bus routes that travel between Union Square and East Somerville Station on the Medford Branch. These bus routes also travel to Sullivan Square Station on the Orange Line. In addition, the Route 87 travels between Union Square and Lechmere Station.
An open house will be hosted to provide the public with additional details about the project and answer any questions about travel alternatives. At the open house, there will be MassDOT Highway Division representative there to speak to the bridge work and there will be representation from the MBTA to speak about the Green Line impacts and alternative service options.
Open House Information:
- Location: Somerville Public Library (Central), 79 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143
- Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2023
- Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
A telephone hotline has also been set up to answer rider questions about the project and service: 617-927-9957.
MBTA customers can find more information on service changes through in-station signage, in-station public announcements, and at mbta.com/alerts. Transit Ambassadors and MBTA staff will be available on-site during these service changes to offer information and assistance. Riders are encouraged to subscribe to T-Alerts or to follow the MBTA on Twitter @MBTA for up-to-date service information.