Make no mistake, the coming closure of the Chelsea Street Bridge will be a mind boggling gaggle of traffic and inconvenience unlike anything we’ve had locally on our roads since the last closure of the Meridian Street Bridge during its final phase of reconstruction some years back.
The completion of the Chelsea Street Bridge will be something to behold.
The new bridge is a virtual Colossus of Rhodes compared with the old bridge about to be taken down and shipped in pieces to the scrap heap.
The new bridge is everything $20 million can buy in the way of modern engineering and construction. Watching it go up has been a fabulous opportunity to learn something about efficiency and physics.
The new bridge will have a center roadway that goes up and down as compared with the old bridge opening at the center and controlled by gravity.
Beginning June 1 and continuing to December 1, the Chelsea Street Bridge will be closed to traffic.
This will cause all the traffic or most of it usually using the Chelsea Street Bridge to use the Meridian Street Bridge out of necessity – either than or traffic will circle its way around Chelsea to Revere and then down the McLellan Highway.
Rush hour at the various affected intersections is going to be a bust for anyone headed there – and if you need to be on time in the area, clocks are now thrown out the window.
Common sense will have to rule.
The trick is going to be staying away from the Meridian Street Bridge nearly at all times of the day. Evening travel should be easy. The summer months will be difficult but not impossible.
When the summer is over and tankers start using the Chelsea River, the madness will really begin. When the Meridian Street Bridge is up allowing for a tanker to navigate the river, traffic everywhere, in every direction will come to a complete stop. This will be something to behold.
In this instance, the end does justify the means and the new bridge will far outdo the usefulness of the old bridge in every way.
Getting there, to the day the new bridge opens, is the task.
After the Chelsea Street Bridge closes on June 1, drivers will need to be that much more aware in order to get around the Chelsea and East Boston waterfronts.
We urge our readers to take heed and to use common sense when starting out on a ten-minute trip that might take one hour.