MassDOT Travel Advisory: Tobin Bridge and Route 1

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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is reminding members of the public that the Department will be rehabilitating the surface of the Tobin Bridge and performing maintenance on the viaduct in Chelsea which carries traffic on Route 1 northbound and southbound.

Lane closures for this work begin on April 1 and this will lead to increased travel times on sections of Route 1 northbound and southbound for drivers and MBTA bus customers.

Travelers should be aware of options such as free fares in the inbound direction on the MBTA’s SL3 bus line at the Chelsea, Bellingham Square, Box District, and Eastern Avenue stops for the duration of construction. The MBTA will also be running additional MBTA Blue Line trains to additional capacity, and these measures will be funded by MassDOT Highway Division project funds.

Beginning April 1, lane closures on the Tobin Bridge northbound will be put in place: two of three travel lanes northbound will be open during daytime hours and one of the three travel lanes northbound will be open during overnight hours.

Beginning by early May, Route 1 travel lanes in the Chelsea Curves area will be reduced so that two of three north and southbound travel lanes will be open in the daytime. One of three north and southbound travel lanes will be open during overnight hours.

“Members of the public should be mindful that our rehabilitation work and traffic impacts on the northbound side of the Tobin Bridge will begin April 1, which will lead to increased travel times in this area,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Lane closures on Route 1 north and southbound in the Chelsea will then begin by early May. We appreciate the patience and cooperation of the traveling public and encourage everyone to make smart choices such as utilizing public transit, checking the appropriate technology apps, adding extra time into their trips to account for potential congestion, and making informed decisions on route, timing, and mode of travel.”

MassDOT is advising the public to also consider using the Haverhill or Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail lines and note that the Haverhill Line historically has parking capacity at Haverhill and Bradford stations. The Newburyport/Rockport Line historically has parking capacity at Newburyport, Salem and Lynn stations. Customers can monitor @MBTA_Parking on Twitter for capacity updates and information.

MassDOT is carrying out work on the Tobin Bridge and Chelsea Curves section of Route 1 at the same time so that these projects will be completed in 2021. If the projects were done at separate times, drivers would be inconvenienced for additional years. This work will eliminate the need for weight restrictions and postings, and MassDOT will use accelerated construction techniques to shorten the overall construction time.

MassDOT encourages the public to be mindful of these impacts and seek alternate routes. Those traveling through the area should reduce speed and use caution. These operations are weather dependent and subject to change without notice.

For more information on this project, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/tobin-bridgechelsea-curves-rehabilitation-project.

For more information on traffic conditions travelers are encouraged to:

  • Dial 511 before heading out onto the roadways and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
  • Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, access to traffic cameras, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.
  • Check parking availability at the T’s 8 largest garages @MBTA_Parking.
  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.