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Anderson Bridge to see lane, sidewalk closures during $20m project

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  May 22, 2012 03:55 PM

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(Google Maps)

Traffic on the Anderson Memorial Bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction and the downstream sidewalk on the bridge will be closed when road work begins on the bridge next week, state transportation officials announced.

Construction is slated to start Tues., May 29, at 7 a.m.

Drivers are being encouraged “to allow extra time for their trips and to reduce speed and use caution when travelling through the work zone,” the Massachusetts Department of Transportation said in a statement.

Bicyclists riding on the bridge will share the eastbound and westbound lanes, officials said. Signs, “channelizing devices” and traffic control measures will be used to guide drivers through the construction area. State transportation officials did not immediately provide further details about the plans when reached Tuesday.

Also known as the Larz Anderson Bridge, the three-span, 440-foot-long crossing carries North Harvard Street over the Charles River between Allston and Cambridge. The bridge features are two traffic lanes in either direction and a sidewalk along each edge.

The 97-year-old bridge is planned to undergo a four-phase $20-million rehabilitation project camp scheduled for completion in fall 2014.

Similar to work recently completed on the Boston University Bridge, the Anderson will be slimmed from four vehicle lanes to three to accommodate bicycle lanes and wheelchair-accessible sidewalks. One vehicle lane will be designated for Boston-bound traffic. The other two will steer vehicles into Cambridge.

Urged by advocates, including the Charles River Conservancy, state officials have agreed to configure the bridge to make bike and pedestrian underpass construction possible in the future. But the state has said it cannot afford to build underpasses as part of the current project on the Anderson.

It is one of six Charles River bridges currently under construction or in design under the state’s eight-year, $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program that began in 2008 and includes more than $400 million allocated to improve Lower Basin area bridges of the Charles River.

For more information on the project, click here.

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