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MassDOT Splitting Route 128 at Needham

Part of the southbound travel lane will be split after Friday, MassDOT says.

Starting Friday night, Jan. 18, the Mass Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is splitting part of I-95 (Route 128) to continue widening bridges across the Charles River. 

Construction crews will create a traffic split formed along I-95 (Route 128) southbound near the Great Plain Avenue intersection in Needham, according to a press release from MassDOT. Two lanes will shift to the left, two to the right, around areas where construction crews will be working.

Some delays are expected between 7 p.m. on Friday and noon on Saturday, while the lane split is installed. 

From the release:

Traffic heading south on I-95 will be split beginning in the area approaching Great Plain Avenue (Exit 18) with the two left lanes shifting to the east (to the driver’s left) and the right lane and breakdown lane shifting to the west (to the driver’s right)

If you are taking Exit 17 or 18, stay in the right-hand travel lanes. MassDOT is advising caution in that area, and remind drivers that travel in the breakdown lane is still restricted. 

The Great Plain Avenue overpass bridge was recently re-opened, and traffic has been traveling across it for a couple of weeks. 

The construction work is part of the I-95 "Add-a-Lane" project, which has drawn some concern from Newton residents and elected officials. The project will widen both sides of I-95/I-93 (Route 128) and restore the breakdown lane to its original use. 

The $127 million Add-a-Lane project that affects Newton/Needham/Wellesley includes roadwork on five bridges in the area and the addition of a new interchange at Kendrick Street. It is part of a larger, $300-$400 million rebuilding of I-95 that began down at Route 24 in Randolph and has moved north to finish at the Route 9/I-95 interchange in Wellesley.

Below is a press release from the Mass Dept. of Transportation:

Dedham-Needham - I-95/Route 128 Southbound: Upcoming Traffic Split

Work to allow for reconstruction, widening of Charles River Bridges 

Beginning on Friday evening, Jan. 18, construction crews will implement a traffic split on I-95 (Route 128) southbound to allow for continued bridge construction over the Charles River at the Needham-Dedham town line. Traffic heading south on I-95 will be split beginning in the area approaching Great Plain Avenue (Exit 18) with the two left lanes shifting to the east (to the driver’s left) and the right lane and breakdown lane shifting to the west (to the driver’s right)

After traveling through the work area associated with the bridge construction, the southbound travel lanes will be shifted again to return to their original configuration in the area near Route 135 (Exit 17). 

Crews will be arriving on site at approximately 7 p.m. to begin implementing the traffic split. Drivers should expect traffic impacts shortly after that time. The work will last until noon on Saturday when the traffic split will be complete.  

Drivers destined to either Exit 18 for Great Plain Avenue and West Roxbury or Exit 17 for Route 135, Needham and Natick, must stay to the right when approaching the lane split as those exits will only be accessible from the right side of the lane split.  

Travel in the breakdown lane in this area remains restricted to weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Drivers should reduce speed and use extreme caution when traveling through the new configuration. 

The traffic split is necessary to reconstruct a portion of the bridges that carry I-95 South over the Charles River. The bridges on I-95 North and South are being reconstructed and widened to accommodate a fourth travel lane as part of the “Add-A-Lane” project.

For transportation news and updates visit MassDOT at our website:www.mass.gov/massdot, blog: www.mass.gov/blog/transportation, or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo.

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