Construction crews are in the final phase of work in the Chelsea Street bridge replacement project. The bridge was closed to traffic in June 2011 to allow crews to demolish the existing bridge and install the remaining portions of the new bridge.
The $125.3 million project will improve the efficiency and operation of the bridge for vehicle traffic while significantly enhancing safe navigation of the Chelsea River channel by maritime vessels.
Recent work includes removing the existing piers and protective fender system and installing the new bridge joints and safety barrier. MassDOT expanded the work to construct new bulkheads on the sides of the channel to prepare the area for the Army Corp of Engineers to widen the channel.
The work taking place requires coordination with the use of the channel by the vessels that supply a significant portion of heating oil, gasoline and jet fuel throughout New England.
The current work must be completed while the bridge is closed to vehicular traffic. To minimize impacts, MassDOT and project stakeholders extended the closure of the bridge so that the work could occur on a continuous basis. Crews are working double shifts, seven days a week.
The new bridge is expected to be ready to reopen to vehicular traffic in late April.