[Editor's note: Below is a press statement issued by the Massachusetts State Police.]
The Massachusetts State Police are urging motorists who live north of Boston who plan to use Route 93 to drive to and from the city on Saturday to consider alternate routes, as the combination of the next phase of the “Fast 14” bridge replacement project and the Bruins championship parade is expected to cause significantly heavy traffic on that highway.
The parade begins at 11 a.m. tomorrow; traffic into the city is expected to begin getting heavy several hours earlier as huge crowds are expected to line the parade route. At the same time, the third weekend of the “Fast 14” project – in which a series of bridges along Route 93 in Medford are being replaced, one per weekend – will be underway. Because of those two events, State Police anticipate extremely heavy traffic on Route 93 on Saturday. We anticipate a bottleneck effect caused by the additional traffic and thus are urging alternate routes and public transportation.
This weekend’s phase focuses on the Route 93 bridge at Route 16, the southernmost point in the stretch of bridges to be replaced. To accommodate the bridge replacement, State Police and the Department of Transportation will shut down the northbound side of Route 93, and utilize a zipper lane to move all traffic headed in both directions onto just the southbound side of the highway. Because of that, traffic will encounter lane reductions and be delayed.
Bridge replacements during the first two weekends of the “Fast 14” project have been completed efficiently and, on both weekends, several hours ahead of the Monday morning completion deadline. Nonetheless, the project in and of itself causes traffic delays on Route 93, and peak hours for delays on the first two weekends have been from approximately 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
With significant increased traffic added on top of those project-related delays by motorists from north of Bostonand New Hampshire heading into the city in the morning for the Bruins parade, and then leaving the city in the afternoon, the delays are expected to be even more significant. Further, the peak hours are expected to begin earlier than 9 a.m. and end later than 2 p.m. Additionally, the location of this weekend’s phase, Route 93 at 16, has less access to local roads than other “Fast 14” bridge locations, meaning that motorists stuck in the traffic will have few options to exit the highway in that area.
State Police urge motorists coming from the north of Boston to use either of two alternate routes to enter the city on Saturday: Route 1 southbound to the Tobin Bridge or Route 128 southbound to the Massachusetts Turnpike eastbound. Motorists are urged to use the same alternate routes to depart the city. Revelers are also urged to use public transportation if possible.