MassPike opens Big Dig connector

| Tuesday, January 21, 2003

The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority recently opened a section of its Big Dig underground highway.

The I-90 connector to the Ted Williams Tunnel and Logan Airport is now open to general traffic, according to a statement from MassPike. With the connector open, all restrictions on use of the Ted Williams Tunnel are lifted. All vehicles – with the exception of trucks carrying hazardous or overheight cargo – will be able to use the tunnel all the time, which should result in about 25,000 fewer vehicles per day driving on the rusty, elevated I-93 artery through the city.

The new connector extends the MassPike from its current terminus at I-93 near South Station and Chinatown under the rail tracks and under the Fort Point Channel through to the Ted Williams Tunnel and into Logan Airport.

This direct, 3.5-mile route to the airport is expected to save drivers as much as 45 minutes off the current route, which involves leaving the MassPike, merging onto I-93 northbound and then exiting in the North End into the Sumner/Callahan Tunnel to reach Logan.

A week or so after the I-90 connector opens, drivers headed north on I-93, the Southeast Expressway, will be able get off the expressway at Exit 20 and take a ramp to I-90 eastbound, which will bring them directly to the Ted Williams Tunnel.

On the return trip from the airport or from the North Shore to I-93 southbound, drivers coming on I-93 northbound headed to the Ted Williams Tunnel must use the Sumner/Callahan Tunnel to reach their destinations. The ramp system that will take traffic from the I-90 connector westbound to I-93 southbound will not be finished until the new I-93 southbound portion of the Central Artery Project is finished in early 2004.

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