MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey today joined Congressman Mike Capuano along with state and local officials to celebrate the opening of the new Chelsea Street Bridge carrying Chelsea Street over the Chelsea Creek at the Boston/Chelsea line. The bridge reopened to traffic on Saturday, May 12.
The signature $125.3 million project replaced a structurally-deficient drawbridge with a new bridge that is the largest permanent lift bridge built in Massachusetts to date. The new structure will improve the efficiency and operation of the bridge for vehicle traffic and for critical maritime vessels to safely navigate the channel.
“We made a long-term commitment to address our neglected roads and bridges and make strategic investments across the Commonwealth using federal and state resources and innovative funding mechanisms,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “The new Chelsea Street Bridge is just the latest example of this commitment, a project creating and sustaining jobs while building a bridge that will serve this area for decades to come.”
The project includes a truss-type structure that spans 450 feet and provides 175 feet of vertical clearance when raised. The new bridge and approach roadway provides two lanes of traffic in each direction and two pedestrian sidewalks.
To accommodate the massive size and tight space constraints in the bridge area, MassDOT contractors J. F. White Contracting Co. of Framingham used an innovative technique of launching the truss across the river. The launching sequence of the truss bridge across the channel was carefully designed to minimize disruption of the navigation channel below.
The project also addresses safety and the environment, improving longstanding issues caused by the narrow passageway used by oil tankers that resulted in accidents and the potential for oil spills.
Final work continues during May and early June, requiring overnight closures that will not affect weekday commuter traffic. Additional work will be completed during the day after the morning commute with at least one lane of traffic open in each direction.