Boston’s Callahan Tunnel Closure
January 08, 2014
On Friday, December 27, 2013, the Callahan Tunnel, which connects Downtown Boston, Storrow Drive, and Interstate 93 southbound to East Boston and Logan Airport, was closed for a major construction overhaul until March 2014. According to The Boston Globe, the Callahan is used by an average of 30,000 vehicles each workday.
The tunnel was closed completely. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) had developed an alternative that would have left the tunnel partially open, allowing motorists to utilize the roadway, albeit with significant delays. However, this alternative would have required approximately 18 months to complete construction.
MassDOT chose instead to use a full tunnel closure in order to cut the construction time to approximately three months. In order to mitigate the impacts of the tunnel’s closing, highway officials have identified alternate routes, opened bypass roads and high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to all vehicles, and increased service on the MBTA’s Silver Line, which provides access to Logan Airport from South Station.
Leading up to the July 2011 closure of the I-405 freeway in Southern California (also known as “Carmageddon”), Los Angeles rolled out an aggressive education plan, which alerted drivers to the freeway’s closure and prevented what could have been a traffic nightmare.
While the 10-week closure of the Callahan Tunnel will be inconvenient, it will create less strife than an extended partial closure, which would have lasted much longer and would not have forced motorists to change their behavior. Like “Carmageddon”, motorists in the Boston area have been informed of the tunnel’s temporary closure. Instead of maintaining their same travel patterns and enduring delays, motorists will hopefully now find alternate routes to work and to Logan Airport. More motorists may carpool to work or work from home to avoid traffic. Some motorists may even switch to public transit.
Are you impacted by the closure of the Callahan Tunnel? And might you continue with your new commuting patterns upon the tunnel’s re-opening?