- Massachusetts Department of Transportation
Media Contact for New: Sumner Tunnel Full Closure Schedule Changing to Reduce Impact on Travelers This Summer
Jacquelyn Goddard, Director of Communications, MassDOT
Boston — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing a revised schedule for the full closure for construction operations for Phase 2 of the Sumner Tunnel Restoration Project in Boston to reduce the impact of the full closure on the traveling public. In addition, a project mitigation working group is being formed to include several agencies, municipalities, public safety organizations, mobility non-profit groups, public transportation entities and others who will be impacted by the tunnel’s full closure.
Rather than the previously announced full closure of the Sumner Tunnel to traffic this year from May through September 4, MassDOT has worked with its design build contractor to perform the work for approximately eight and a half weeks instead, from July 5 through August 31. This period between July 4 and Labor Day historically has the lowest traffic volumes of the year and is outside of the school year making it much more manageable for traffic management.
A second full closure of the Sumner Tunnel will then occur in the summer of 2024, for approximately two months during a similar period between July and August.
Phase 1 of the Sumner Tunnel Restoration Project work has already required scheduled weekend closures of the Sumner Tunnel since last summer. Twenty-six weekend closures have occurred to date and will continue up to July 5, except for certain holiday weekends and other planned pauses in construction.
“We are pleased to be announcing a shorter closure of the Sumner Tunnel to traffic this summer, basically half as long this summer as previously planned,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Since launching the Sumner Tunnel Restoration Project last year, we have been working closely with our contractor to identify every opportunity to reduce traffic impacts. Breaking up the full closure for only eight and a half weeks this summer rather than four months significantly benefits regional travelers, local businesses, and area residents.”
MassDOT is also forming a project mitigation working group which will include law enforcement, fire, EMS, public transportation entities such as the MBTA, municipalities, Massport, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, ride-share companies, water transportation entities, and representatives of local non-profits including Massachusetts General Hospital and the Seaport TMA, (which has a membership base representing more than 30,000 commuters and a range of organizations in the Seaport neighborhood of Boston.)
For information on the Sumner Tunnel Restoration Project, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/sumner-tunnel-restoration-project-history.