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Sumner Tunnel

Reducing Congestion at Tunnel Approach

Boston, MA, USA

An image for Sumner Tunnel


In 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) removed the existing toll plaza structure at the entrance of the Sumner Tunnel in East Boston. The new configuration coincided with an increase in traffic which caused congestion issues at the tunnel approach. In 2019, a new traffic management plan was adopted to help manage traffic effectively and reduce congestion. As part of this initiative, Versilis was selected by MassDOT to supply an automated warning gate system at the tunnel approach to allow efficient closures and openings of traffic lanes based on daily traffic patterns.

Project Scope

The Versilis automated lane closure solution consists of a series of gates installed at the tunnel approach. Versilis swing gates can be retracted, to add an additional travel lane into the tunnel, or deployed, to close the right lane of Route 1A Southbound. The automated gate system aims to improve traffic flow coming from East Boston into the tunnel.

The gate system is integrated with variable message signs and lane use control signs, controlled remotely from MassDOT Highway Operation Center. The “swing lane” is closed during peak morning hours to allow vehicles coming from Porter Street to access Route 1A into the tunnel. The lane is open during other hours to provide additional access for traffic entering the tunnel.

Safe & Efficient Lane Closures

Safety benefits

  • Reduced worker exposure to live traffic
  • Increased motorist compliance & safety with highly visible and crash tested gates

Operational Benefits

  • Reduced congestion at the tunnel entrance for Route 1A travelers
  • Optimized traffic flow into the Sumner Tunnel from East Boston

Ready to make roads safer?

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