Comm. Ave. bridge project to finish on time

After more than two weeks of almost non-stop construction, the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge was reopened for vehicular traffic early Saturday morning, state Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said during a press briefing.

Gulliver said all lanes on the Boston University Bridge will be open by noon Saturday for all commuters including pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers, meeting the project’s expected Saturday deadline.

Minor work is expected to continue over the next few weeks during off-peak hours.

“We’re at the point now where most of the major work is completed so for the average commuter coming through here today, or any time next week, you’re going to be back to full normal travel,” he said.

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The project “lost a little time” due to thunderstorms and heat earlier in the week, but Gulliver said they had planned for that possibility ahead of time.

“We knew that we had the potential to lose a little bit of time [so] we built that in,” he said.

After the project to replace the westbound portion of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge began on July 26, Commonwealth Avenue was closed to traffic from St. Paul Street to St. Mary’s Street, and Green Line trains were replaced by shuttle buses between Babcock and Blandford streets.

“We’ve been in a 24/7 operation since that time and it’s been a lot of work to get to where we are today,” Gulliver said.

Gulliver said the $110 million project managed to meet some of its milestones earlier than planned. The Massachusetts Turnpike returned to full capacity a day early on Aug. 5. The Green Line also started running a day early, on Friday afternoon.

Gulliver thanked commuters for their patience and willingness to avoid the construction area.

“It really is a testament to them that they listened to our message and took our message and did whatever they could to stay away from the area,” he said.

Although the major construction is over, officials are still urging the public “continue to use caution in the days and weeks ahead as final tasks still occur in off-peak hours,” according to a Mass DOT statement.

Sophia Eppolito can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SophiaEppolito.

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