Sumner Tunnel Closed on Tuesday Night, March 18th

The following release is from MassDOT regarding a 4 hour closing of the Sumner Tunnel on March 18th from 10pm to 2am.

Exercise requires overnight closure of Sumner Tunnel connecting E. Boston to Downtown

BOSTON – Wednesday, March 12, 2014 – MassDOT, in conjunction with its Boston-area public safety partners, will hold a training exercise on March 18 from 10pm to March 19 at 2am inside the Sumner Tunnel to simulate a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional response to a motor vehicle incident involving a fire and multiple injuries. The Sumner will be closed to traffic during the exercise known as Project ICITE (Integrated Communications Incident Tunnel Exercise).

Project ICITE was developed by the MassDOT Highway Division to assess the impact of the loss of communications for first responders responding to a multiple vehicle incident in the Sumner Tunnel. The exercise will involve varying degrees of participation from transportation and public safety personnel assigned to Troop E and F of the Massachusetts State Police, the Highway Operations Center, the Highway Division District 6, Boston Fire Department, Boston Emergency Medical Services, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the Boston Transportation Department, and the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management.

The exercise will include various activities associated with incident response and recovery in a simulated environment, including but not limited to use of alternate modes of communication, extrication and rescue, fire fighting operations, life safety systems deployment, and recovery operations.

Project ICITE began as a table-top exercise in 2012 and through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security advanced to a functional exercise in March 2013. The exercise sought to determine what alternative communication capabilities could be deployed and how quickly technicians could restore temporary capabilities in the event of radio communication failure during incident response in the Sumner Tunnel.

While response to the Sumner Tunnel will be deployed in real time, many activities will be simulated. Apparatus will be staged prior to the exercise, and trained volunteers will be acting as motorists impacted by the incident. Smoke machines will be used to simulate a fire environment and agencies will practice deployment of various life safety systems in the event of an actual incident of this nature.

MassDOT is providing the media and select members of the transportation and public safety community the opportunity to observe the exercise from the Highway Operations Center, 50 Massport Haul Road, South Boston. This is scheduled to begin at 11:59 pm on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. If you plan to attend, please RSVP in advance to the MassDOT Press Office 857-368-8500.

In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created to unify the state’s various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway Division, the MBTA and Rail Transit Division, the Aeronautics Division, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. MassDOT is committed to providing a safe and reliable transportation system to all those who travel in the Commonwealth and works to deliver excellent customer service. MassDOT has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to transportation, including the Accelerated Bridge Program, the “Where’s My Bus and Train?” apps and “Fast 14” work. For more information, visit MassDOT at our website: blog:, or follow MassDOT on twitter at and Facebook at