Route 9 and Cedar Street were quietly reopened to traffic on Monday morning, almost twelve hours before they were scheduled to be open. A few onlookers watched as some of the first cars travelled under Route 9, and a few drivers sounded their horns and waved appreciatively at the workers. Onlookers stopped by the site throughout the weekend to watch the work rapidly progress. Over a hundred people stood by as the bridge moved—ahead of schedule— down Route 9.
The secret to the incredibly fast bridge replacement was the strategy used by MassDOT and its engineers and builders, which was aimed firmly on a single goal: to provide the best possible customer service to road users and the community by building a long-lasting bridge, safely, efficiently, economically, and with the least possible impact to traffic and the community. To accomplish that, MassDOT pre-constructed the replacement bridge superstructure in a cloverleaf near the old bridge. Doing so kept a vast majority of the work outside of the roadway, nearly eliminating traffic impacts to Route 9.
As shown in the short movie below, once the new bridge superstructure was ready, MassDOT needed to demolish the old bridge and install new portions of the center pier and abutments. On Sunday morning, all preparations were complete. At 5:00 AM, four multi-axle machines called Self-Propelled Modular Transporters (or SPMTs) rumbled to life from their position underneath the new bridge superstructure. They moved in unison, carrying the 530-ton bridge from the cloverleaf onto the Cedar Street ramp. Then, at 8:15, the SPMTs’ many wheels rotated 90 degrees, and the bridge moved smoothly down the ramp onto Route 9 as the crowd watched, amazed. The wheels rotated again, and the bridge moved down Route 9, arriving at the pier and abutments at 9:30. The SPMTs held the bridge above the substructure until the early afternoon, when it was lowered into place.
Crews worked throughout the night to prepare to reopen the bridge. Temporary lane markings are in place and one sidewalk is open for pedestrians. Crews will continue to put the finishing touches on the bridge throughout the month, during off-peak hours. This work includes installing architectural pilasters, final paving and lane marking, completion of sidewalks, and installing signs.
MassDOT: Fourth Annual Safe Streets Smart Trips High School Video Contest posted on May 19
MassDOT today announced the fourth annual statewide high school video contest – Safe Streets Smart Trips. The contest serves as an initiative within the Massachusetts Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) to promote safe walking, bicycling, and driving behaviors within the Commonwealth. The contest began three …Continue Reading MassDOT: Fourth Annual Safe Streets Smart Trips High School Video Contest
New Bedford: Massachusetts Freight Plan Open House posted on May 19
MassDOT is hosting the fourth Open House for the Massachusetts Freight Plan as follows: Wednesday, May 24, 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM, New Bedford Free Public Library, Meeting Room (3rd floor), 613 Pleasant Street, New Bedford MassDOT’s Freight Plan is a strategic planning document that …Continue Reading New Bedford: Massachusetts Freight Plan Open House
MassDOT Environmental Priority: Endangered Species Habitat Preservation posted on May 19
Today, May 19, is Endangered Species Day, a day when many environmental organizations and government agencies recognize conservation efforts to protect endangered species and their habitats. The MassDOT Highway Division works hard to ensure compliance with State and Federal endangered species regulations to avoid, minimize …Continue Reading MassDOT Environmental Priority: Endangered Species Habitat Preservation