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  • Writer's pictureDylan Kelly

Sumner Tunnel Closures - Essential Information and Tips to Avoid Gridlock

PC: Massachusetts Department of Transportation

The Sumner Tunnel has been undergoing weekend closures for repairs and will be closed for an entire month starting July 5. This tunnel is a crucial route, typically handling about 40,000 vehicles daily, connecting East Boston with downtown under the harbor. Here’s a guide to the scheduled shutdowns and detours to help you avoid traffic issues this summer.

What is the Sumner Tunnel and its Route?

Built in the 1930s, the Sumner Tunnel carries Route 1A southbound traffic between East Boston and Boston’s North End, providing a direct link from Logan Airport to downtown Boston, Interstate 93, and areas further north. The Callahan Tunnel, its counterpart, runs parallel and handles northbound traffic.

Summer Closure Schedule

Following two years of weekend closures and a two-month shutdown last summer for extensive repairs and upgrades, the Sumner Tunnel will close again for major work. Here’s the schedule:

  • Weekend Closures: June 14-17 and June 21-24 (Fridays at 11 p.m. to Mondays at 5 a.m.)

  • Month-Long Closure: July 5 to August 5 (this has been shortened due to progress made in spring)

  • Future Weekend Closures: August 9-12, 16-19, 23-26; September 6-9, 13-16, 20-23, 27-30; October 4-7, 18-21, 25-28; November 1-4, 8-11, 15-18.

Avoiding Traffic: Tips and Alternatives

To minimize disruption, MassDOT suggests planning ahead and using public transportation. The MBTA Blue Line will be free in both directions, with open gates at all stations from Wonderland to Bowdoin. Additionally, the East Boston ferry and Chelsea bus Routes 111, 112, 114, 116, 117, and Silver Line 3 will be free during tunnel closures.

Driving Detours

If you must drive, expect delays and plan extra travel time. Here are the key detours:

  • To Logan Airport/East Boston: Use the Callahan Tunnel or the Ted Williams Tunnel.

  • Northbound (to Maine, Portsmouth, N.H., Newburyport): Route 1A north to US-1 north.

  • Southbound: I-90 West/Ted Williams Tunnel to I-93 south.

  • Westbound: I-90 West/Ted Williams Tunnel.

Specific Detour Routes:

  • From East Boston to Downtown Boston: I-90/Ted Williams Tunnel via Bennington Street to I-93.

  • From Logan Airport to Downtown Boston: I-90/Ted Williams Tunnel to I-93.

  • From Route 1 South to Downtown Boston: Divert to Route 1A in Revere at Bell Circle Rotary, then to I-90/Ted Williams Tunnel to I-93.

  • From Route 1A South to Downtown Boston: Continue on Route 1A to the Ted Williams Tunnel to I-93.

During certain closures, the ramp connecting the airport to the Ted Williams Tunnel and a lane on I-90 westbound will be periodically shut. Message boards and signs will guide drivers through these detours.

For real-time traffic updates, visit Mass511. You can also sign up for email alerts or contact the project team via email at or call the hotline at 508-510-2920.

For detailed information, visit


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