A successful working partnership between MassDOT and its contractor and an innovative approach to the work have delivered the ultimate positive result: a bridge reconstructed and reopened 21 months ahead of schedule and under budget.
MassDOT and project contractor MAS Building and Bridges of Franklin began construction in April 2009 to replace the Morton Street bridge over the B&M Railroad in Lowell. The project with an original budget of $2.65 million proposed closing the bridge to vehicles during reconstruction but maintaining pedestrian access to local schools and neighborhoods by doing the work in two phases. The completion date was originally scheduled for March 2012.
During the early stages of the project, the contractor MAS Building and Bridges proposed and MassDOT approved placing a temporary pedestrian bridge next to the existing bridge to allow reconstruction to be completed in a single phase. The temporary bridge costs were borne by the contractor.
MAS Building and Bridges and Project Superintendent Ed McInnis worked cooperatively and seamlessly with MassDOT's Construction Staff led by Resident Engineer Dan Boland and his assistant, Desire Manirakiza, to complete the project smoothly, swiftly and under the original budget. The bridge reopened to traffic on July 9.
Local constituent John Mullen of Lowell praised the contractors and MassDOT teamwork and hard work, saying,
"They and the state engineers on the project did everything they could to make the ten households effected feel as comfortable and informed as possible. I can't remember a day that they were not on the job and working. Shoveling snow on the weekends so the pedestrian access was walkable to being there when the weather was downright miserable. They were always there working. They truly deserve some recognition for a job well done."
Congratulations to the contractor, workers, and MassDOT staff members.