MassDOT's Board of Directors has approved construction contracts for two signature Patrick-Murray Administration Accelerated Bridge Program projects: rehabilitation of the Longfellow Bridge, left, which links Boston and Cambridge, and replacement of the Interstate 95 Whittier Bridge in Amesbury, Newburyport and Salisbury, below.
“These two projects are true capstones of the Accelerated Bridge Program,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. “These projects accommodate our multi-modal society with the inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian facilities.”
The $255.5 million contract for the rehabilitation of the Longfellow Bridge, which carries Route 3 over the Charles River, between Boston and Cambridge, was awarded to J. F. White/Skanska Koch/Consigli. The Longfellow carries the MBTA’s Red Line in addition to vehicular traffic and will feature improved sidewalks and bicycle lanes.
The $292.2 million Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project includes the replacement of the John Greenleaf Whittier Memorial Bridge and improvements to eight additional bridges to accommodate the widening of I-95. The joint venture contract was awarded to Walsh/McCourt. The project calls for shared used paths and pedestrian overlooks along the Merrimack River.
The two projects are among five projects ABP Mega Projects. One remaining Mega Project to be awarded is the Fall River Interchange Improvement Project at I-195, Rt. 79 and Rt. 138, with bid opening scheduled for May 1st. The Burns Bridge in Worcester/Shrewsbury and the Fore River Bridge linking Quincy and Weymouth are currently under construction.
The Longfellow and Whittier projects will break ground this spring and employ hundreds of skilled construction workers. Since its creation in 2008, ABP has completed 121 bridge projects with 68 more under construction or pending, while sustaining more than 18,000 constructions jobs. The number of structurally deficient bridges has dropped from 543 to 436, a decline of 19.7%.