Callahan Tunnel to shut for three months of repairs, starting in January

And then after that, the tunnel, originally opened in 1961, will be shut every night between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. for four to five more months, MassDOT reports:

Every aspect of the tunnel is in fair to poor condition, and the time has come to put the Callahan in shape to last another 50 years.

State officials explain the $35-million repair project at two public meetings, one tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Nazzaro Community Center, 30 North Bennet St. in the North End and the other next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at East Boston High School, 86 White St.

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it's not

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It's not feasible now due to the way the ramps are now. The only way to do it would be to use the EMT/Fire/PD Access ramps but I doubt it would happen.

2-way Sumner Tunnel

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I think it would be impossible now. On the Eastie side it could work, but Sumner on the "mainland" side has no outlet except north-west bound routes (93N, Govt Center outlet, Storrow Drive/Nashua Street ramp).

Possible

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but not practical. The issue isn't so much the outlet itself, but converting the surface streets leading up to the outlet.

That's an interesting question, Ron.

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However, given the fact that traffic in the Williams Tunnel, not to mention the whole artery area to and from the airport is already horrific enough, both at rush-hour and off-hours, the results of closing the Callahan Tunnel, even though it be temporary, are going to be a bitch.

Here's how I remember:

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Here's how I remember: similar sounds

Sumner takes you to the city (both have "S" sounds).

Callahan takes you to Logan (almost rhymes).

Roslindale to Logan

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To get from Roslindale to Logan, I usually go Riverway to Storrow Dr to the Callahan. I think this is saying I can't take that route when under construction.

Uh, so what am I supposed to do now?

syllables

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I remembered by syllable count:

OUT - three letters; Callahan: three syllables
IN - two letters; Sumner: two syllables

Yeah

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Right through Haul Rd in Southie, I imagine. I recall that when the final ramps were being put in a few years back.

Haul Road usage

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Is the Haul Road still out of bounds for those of us who paid for it, yet aren't allowed to use it?

Not that I can tell

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At least on the leg that goes from Congress to the industrial zone of the seaport, there are no longer any signs prohibiting use. It's how I get home off the Pike westbound.

I think the haul road is all access now

It's been a few years, but I used it quite a bit during the period between the Ted opening and the I-90 connector opening. Technically it was restricted, but nobody seemed to care that I wasn't driving a commercial vehicle.

up
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Haul road stll restricted

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The signs still say it's restricted access. I've used it too and never got a ticket. If it's open, why not remove the signs? At one time the state police were ticketing.

$35 million, what a waste, we

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$35 million, what a waste, we already have a new tunnel from 93 to east Boston/airport. The state should save the money and shut the Callahan and sumner tunnels. They would get the same amount of tolls from the Ted William's that they get from both tunnels, with 1/2 the operating cost.

The purpose of the road isn't

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The purpose of the road isn't to make money, it's to transport people. If 2 tunnels weren't needed, then they wouldn't have 2 tunnels. Right now the Ted carries ~70k vehicles per day (both directions) while the Callahan/Sumner carry about 17k each. I don't see 104,000 cars per day working out too well in two-two lane tunnels.

They have 2 tunnels because

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They have 2 tunnels because they needed a new tunnel to carry traffic while they diverted cars during some parts of construction of the big dig. Also, since the the tunnel is technically an extension of i-90 it helped to convince the Federal Government to fund the Big Dig since it was completing the last bit of the interstate. Its like when the state asked taxpayers to fund a new convention center, but we are still stuck subsidizing the old one, and now they want to expand the new one and still keep the old one? Sell that thing first.
The big dig is done, the state cant keep coming back like a crackhead asking for more money for it and its related network. Its time to fund and complete the public transportation projects the state promised as remediation for the pollution from the big dig. (ie making the silver line a real line that connects to itself instead of 2 buses, The green line to forest hills, red-blue link, etc.).

Actually, the Third Harbor Tunnel

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was a perfectly legitimate and necessary connection that could have been easily built without that other "downtown beautification" project (the 'Big Dig').

And the Feds gave us the money for the project not because it would help "complete the Interstate system", but because elevated Interstate 93 through Downtown Boston was in dire need of repair.

Pissah...

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Great...as if the Ted Williams isn't crowded enough during rush hour. Expect delays on the Pike going back to oh....about 495 when this happens.

I would advise all of my Uhub friends to learn how to get to Logan from the Tobin,or at least through Sullivan Square to the produce market.

Getting to the airport

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Well you could take public transit....I mean just because Govt Center will be closed for 2 years starting in the fall, you shouldn't let that stop you.... Oh, and there are some mid-life Silver Line overhauls to be done on the buses that run from So. Station to Logan... uh, yeah maybe you're better off driving...oh wait....

There is always the Australian Crawl as well Captain Bob

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Ferries are great if you are in Hull, Hingham, and Quincy or live in Harbor Towers. If you are in Billerica and need to get to the airport without taking 4 hours, you take your car and the tunnel.

Is somebody really saying why do we need roads in Boston? Life is not just lived in Beacon Hill and the South End folks. We PWT sometimes take planes as well.

14 MPH?

They must have deducted 1 MPH from the speed limit every year since then.

Callahan Tunnel Pedestrian Walkway

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I wish they would improve the pedestrian walkway in the Callahan and/or Sumner Tunnels. Currently, pedestrians are officially prohibited, but I often see people sneaking through late at night after the T shuts down. To someone who just wants to get home after working a low-paying job, the price of a taxi is too much to pay, so they're left with no alternative but to walk through the tunnel, a distance of one mile. The next shortest pedestrian route is six miles long and goes through some extremely unpleasant and highly dangerous areas!

Breathing is a priority

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As an East Boston resident, I can say it certainly would be convenient to be able to walk through the tunnel, but I do not want to breathe those fumes.

I'm glad that's possible.

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I'm glad that's possible. The people in charge have to know about it -- I'm sure there's cameras all over the place in the tunnels.

Do you know where the access points are on either side?

I think an overnight shuttle bus through the tunnel would be highly profitable, even if it charged only a dollar each way. What's the process for starting up a privately-run local transit line these days?

Brilliant idea!

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When I was driving cab, I would often find myself getting real sleepy driving through the tunnels several times a day. I can't imagine walking through it would be just as healthy.

Attendant Booths Inside Callahan & Sumner Tunnels

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Years ago, before cameras were everywhere, attendants were stationed in the middle of the tunnels to report accidents or stalled vehicles. The windowed booths where the attendants used to work are still there. The tunnels are continuously ventilated by huge exhaust systems, so the air quality is really not that different than walking along any highway.

As a former cab driver, you must certainly be familiar with the alternate route: up Rutheford Avenue and Alford Street, around the huge power plant and past the "adult entertainment" and petrochemical attractions of Beacham Street, etc., etc.. How healthy is that?!!

The route through the tank

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The route through the tank farms is unhealthy -- for your car.

Everett doesn't maintain the roads at all. The potholes are so big that it's hard to get through there without damaging your suspension or exhaust.

I've found it's usually faster to go up to Route 16, since you can go more than 5 mph that way. Though the pointless long red lights on 99 don't help that route.

Deliberate Potholes on Beacham Street

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I believe Beacham Street is deliberately kept in a state of "beyond disrepair" because it's the shortest toll-free route from East Boston, Chelsea, and the Airport. Naturally, it's heavily traveled by big trucks and other vehicles that just make the matter worse.

It's a shame there's no other pedestrian or bicycle path, so renovating the Callahan Tunnel presents a great opportunity. Alas, I'm not optimistic that MassDOT cares enough about anyone using non-motorized vehicles to make such an improvement.

Callahan Tunnel

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They are preparing to add 3rd lane in Tunnel to have better traffic flow to new Suffolk downs casino, that is the real answer folks.