Governor Deval Patrick today joined administration officials, local legislators and construction workers at the Scott Reservoir Outlet bridge project in Fitchburg to highlight the use of innovative "Bridge-in-a-Backpack" construction technology.
This site is the first in Massachusetts to use the innovative technique and Massachusetts is the second state in the country to see it deployed. The bridge project is funded by the the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic Accelerated Bridge Program to repair or replace structurally-deficient bridges across the Commonwealth.
The project achieved a major milestone this week when the structural arches of the replacement bridge were installed. The arches, made of ultra-light composite material, were carried into place by a group of five workers without the help of expensive and potentially dangerous machinery.
MassDOT contractors anticipate substantial completion of the project by late July, just 70 days after the original closing of the bridge. The bridge will be re-opened to traffic no later than July 26th.
The "Bridge-in-a-Backpack" construction methodology has been proven to be safe for workers and cost efficient. Completed bridges are highly durable and weather resistant due to the unique materials used in construction.
The Accelerated Bridge Program is an unprecedented 8-year, $3 billion investment in the Commonwealth's bridges and workers. Already, the program has helped reduce the number of structurally deficient bridges by more than 15 percent. In calendar year 2010, MassDOT projects created or sustained an estimated 30,000 jobs, a trend expected to continue throughout 2011.