The $40 million project to de-lead and repaint the Mystic portion of the Tobin Bridge and make structural repairs is set to begin this summer.
The final design and scope of the project was approved in March and Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials will begin meeting with the affected communities of Chelsea and Charlestown to begin discussing proposed lane closures on the bridge and possible traffic plans to avoid gridlock in both neighborhoods.
However, some are worried that the work on the bridge and the fact it will coincide with work on the Alford Street/Route 99 Bridge from Charlestown to Everett, a route many would use to avoid possible bridge traffic could be a nightmare.
According to the DOT, one lane will be closed in each direction on the bridge from spring to fall for the next three years. There will also be additional night and weekend work that will add additional closures.
“We have to make sure we keep the interest at the forefront of DOT and keep the impact as minimal as it can be,” Senator Sal DiDomenico told the Herald. “I stand with the neighborhood and I want to make sure the neighborhood is the first priority.”
About having two simultaneous projects on routes people traveling north from Charlestown to Chelsea or Everett, Representative Eugene O’Flaherty said he was worried motorists seeking to avoid Tobin lane closure traffic and Route 16 repair work could be a traffic concern for Chelsea and other surrounding neighborhoods.
This is the first time the Mystic portion has been painted since the Tobin’s construction in 1948.