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NH commuters can expect some closures heading into Boston

By DAVE SOLOMON
New Hampshire Union Leader

April 15. 2013 11:55PM




New Hampshire commuters headed into Boston today are likely to find all major highways into the city open, but should be aware of the likelihood of street closures near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, as law enforcement and homeland security officials continue their investigation into Monday's deadly bomb blasts.

The area most likely to be affected is along Boylston Street, in front of the Boston Public Library and midway between Exeter and Dartmouth streets.

Businesses in the Copley Square area could be affected, and commuters or employees should call ahead, according to state police. A Massachusetts State Police spokesman said there will be no major highway closures, and that traffic on Routes 2, 3, 95, 93 and 128 should proceed as normal.

The MBTA commuter rail continued operating Monday and is expected to operate as scheduled today at South and North stations, although some subway stations may still be shut.

The green line from Kenmore Square to downtown area was not operating as of Monday evening. The red line at Downtown Crossing and Park Street Station was closed at the height of the crisis.

By 6:30 p.m., the red line resumed stops at Downtown Crossing, but was still skipping Park Street, according to an MBTA spokesperson.

"No telling when they'll all be activated," he said. "Right now we don't have new information. Most of the buses are running, but not into the Boylston Street area."

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction at Logan International Airport in Boston after the two explosions. The FAA issued a "ground stop," which held planes at their point of departure and prohibited them from landing in Boston.

The FAA tweeted to pilots: "Short notice. There is a TFR (temporary flight restriction) in Boston, Mass. Passengers heading in or out of Logan Airport should check with their airline about the status of their flight times."

By 6 p.m., the restriction was lifted and flights began departing and arriving from Logan, but travelers were advised to check their airlines for delays or flight changes as the ripple effect of the flight restrictions continued.

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport reported no flight delays or cancellations due to the bombings. An operator at the Boston Express bus service said, "There have been no scheduling changes on our side as of now. Any changes will be posted on our website."

Boston Express operates along the Interstate 93 corridor serving Manchester, Londonderry and Salem to Boston's South Station and Logan Airport.

Cell phone service in New Hampshire was spotty at the height of the crisis, as emergency cell calls in the bombing area were being routed through New Hampshire.

Verizon Wireless issued a statement, saying: "Verizon Wireless has been enhancing network voice capacity to enable additional calling in the Copley Square area of Boston. Customers are advised to use text or email to free up voice capacity for public safety officials at the scene. There was no damage to the Verizon Wireless network, which is seeing elevated calling and data usage throughout the region since the explosions occurred."

Commuters should expect heightened security in areas surrounding the blast, and in some cases beyond.

Security officers at Emerson College, for example, were inspecting all backpacks and bags of those allowed to enter its buildings, and the college was still in lockdown as of early Monday evening.

dsolomon@unionleader.com


New Hampshire Public Safety Transportation


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