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Fairhaven Bridge, March 14, 2013MassDOT today detailed plans to replace the bridge decks that carry I-195 over River Avenue in Fairhaven near the New Bedford line, in four weekends within a six week period beginning on March 22.  

The rapid bridge construction technique using eight prefabricated bridge units will allow MassDOT to limit traffic disruptions and replace the deteriorated bridge decks before the busy spring and summer travel season begins.

“This replacement is part of the Accelerated Bridge Program that has allowed MassDOT to reduce the backlog of structurally deficient bridges statewide by 20%,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. “Here in Fairhaven, we are pleased to be able to address the structural issues and also improve the customer experience by drastically reducing both the construction schedule and traffic delays.”

At no time during construction will I-195 be closed completely to traffic. Drivers will follow a lane shift through the work zone, similar to the 93Fast14 project that allowed MassDOT to replace 14 I-93 bridges in ten weekends during the summer of 2011.

The deck replacement work will be performed in two phases. During the first phase, (I-195 Westbound work), two lanes of traffic will be maintained in both directions. During phase two (I-195 Eastbound work), there will be one travel lane heading eastbound with restricted access from Route 18 and Washburn Street during the weekend deck replacement. Ramp detours will be in place.  Two lanes of westbound traffic will remain open during phase two.

Using traditional construction methods and overnight roadway closures to replace the superstructure, the project would take 12 to 18 months to complete. The project cost is approximately $5 million.

The deck replacements are scheduled to be completed by April 29th with a project completion of June 14th, with the exact schedule weather dependent.

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