Council Wants State To Provide Some Mitigation During Tunnel Work Closure

By Adam Swift

With the Sumner Tunnel slated to close for a big portion of the summer for reconstruction, some City Councillors would like to see the state’s transportation department provide some relief for local commuters on the Tobin Bridge.

At Monday night’s meeting, the council approved a motion from Councillor-at-Large Gerry Visconti requesting a representative from MassDOT and the state legislative delegation appear before the council to discuss plans for the tunnel closure. In addition, Visconti requested state officials not enforce the bus lane on the Tobin Bridge to help alleviate congestion for commuters.

“Any relief we can give travelers on that bridge would help the city, as well,” said Visconti. “I would like to know what their intentions are, and what they can do to help the congestion on the bridge.”

Councillor-at-Large Dan Rizzo said he often drives over the Tobin Bridge and doesn’t believe there is enough bus traffic to warrant all other vehicles being forced to use the left lanes. He added the city could discuss with the DOT making them HOV lanes to help with traffic while the tunnel is being reconstructed.

“That bus lane on the Tobin Bridge has really been a disaster for our community,” said Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino. “What happens now is you take an entire lane of the Tobin Bridge, and now the traffic backs up to around Park Avenue and Mountain Avenue at times.”

Serino said it would be nice to see the state give Revere a little consideration when it comes to traffic and other issues on Rte. 1.

“As always with the state, we get screwed when it comes to Rte. 1 in terms of the transponders, the tolls, and no sound barriers,” said Serino. “The least they can do is suspend the bus lane, and, I would argue, get rid of it because it was a stupid idea in the first place.”

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