State officials say the Callahan Tunnel should open round about 5 a.m. Monday morning, which will begin to restore karma to Boston traffic and eventually end those mysterious clumps of state troopers along Rte. 16.
However, late-night drivers can expect some delays elsewhere along I-93 for the rest of the week as MassDOT gets the mighty highway back into fighting form:
Most notably, the effort requires the closure of Exit 24/Gov’t Center on I-93 Southbound on Sunday night into Monday morning and the complete closure of I-93 Southbound through Boston overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.
On Wednesday morning, the commercial-vehicle and HOV restrictions on the South Boston Bypass Haul Road and the HOV express lanes to the airport, respectively, go back into force.
Meanwhile, workers have started taking apart the Longfellow Bridge's salt and pepper shakers as they rehab the bridge:
The first step in dismantling the towers is to erect scaffolding around them. Concurrent with removing the stones, the old mortar is cut out from between the stones. Additionally, the concrete liner is demolished, and this work takes place inside the towers.
The original bridge plans and numbering system were used to create a series of stone coursing drawings. The coursing drawings, or two dimensional models, show the individual stones level by level, or course by course. These drawings are important as the current stone numbering system is based on this historic information. Also, these numbers and plans ensure that the proper stones are put in the correct locations during reassembly of the towers. Using this combination of historic and current information, each stone is documented, its condition noted, and then tracked throughout the removal, restoration and reassembly process. Prior to removal, the stones are coded with the corresponding stone coursing drawing number and photographs taken of their condition and location. A temporary marking number is attached to the stone using painter’s tape, which is non-marring. To mark the stones permanently after removal, a number is written on a non-exposed face of the stone, typically the top of the stone, and a photo taken to confirm the number. An arrow showing the direction of installation is also put on the non-exposed face.
Once the stones are documented, they are lifted via a barge-mounted crane on the Charles River using straps or pins and chains. Cracked or damaged stones are lifted onto the barge using additional support and protection. Any stones that are broken or in danger of breaking may be removed in parts, which will be carefully documented and marked to ensure that the pieces are kept together throughout the process.
The stones will be moved via barge to the contractor’s staging area where they will be cleaned, repaired and stored on wood pallets covered with tarp for protection until it’s time to reassemble them. The upstream towers are currently being dismantled and will be reassembled later this year. The downstream towers will be dismantled in fall 2015 during the final phase of construction.