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image002-7MassDOT is pleased to announce that replacement of the bridge carrying Massachusetts Avenue traffic over Commonwealth Avenue in the Back Bay reached a number of milestones today and the new bridge is now scheduled to open for the morning commute on Monday.

Crews today finished several important tasks including the forming, rebar and concrete placement for the closure pours and backwall, waterproofing of abutment and the installation of approach slabs.  The backfilling and approach paving operations are ongoing and anticipated to be completed in time for tomorrow morning’s commute.

image003-5“The Mass Ave project has been going very well and at this time we are ahead of schedule,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver.  “Crews have been working steadily around the clock since the demolition of the deteriorated bridge began on Thursday night, May 10.  Numerous demolition and replacement steps have fallen into place nicely and there have been no unforeseen challenges with construction.  Everything from the deployment of heavy equipment, installation of pre-cast units and approach utility work has gone well and we expect the new bridge to open to the public in the morning on Monday.”

“I want to thank the whole team, from the Commonwealth and City, to the contractors and residents, who pulled together to replace this critical bridge,” said Chris Osgood, Chief of the Streets, Transportation and Sanitation for the City of Boston.  “It has taken immense coordination, both over this weekend and throughout this project, to deliver this new bridge at the crossroads of Massachusetts Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue.”

After the opening of the new Massachusetts Avenue Bridge, the eastbound and westbound Commonwealth Avenue bypass roadways under the bridge will remain closed for travel until approximately Wednesday, May 23.  Also,  single lane closures on Massachusetts Avenue north and southbound in the vicinity of the bridge over Commonwealth Avenue will occur periodically through August, as needed, during off-peak hours on weekdays, in order to allow the contractor to continue surface work such as sidewalk finishing, deck waterproofing and paving and installation of utilities for new street lighting and traffic signals.  In addition, fencing will be refurbished and new concrete pilasters built which will match the historic shape and look of the existing ones.

MassDOT hosted public meetings for this project to discuss construction activities and traffic management plans.  At the most recent meeting, on Wednesday, April 25, detour routes were confirmed for the construction period which began at 10 p.m., Thursday, May 10.  The detours remain in place at this time and are as follows:

  • Massachusetts Avenue north and southbound are closed in the vicinity of the bridge until 5:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 15, or until the new bridge is open for public travel.
  • The Commonwealth Avenue bypass travel lanes under the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge are closed to traffic.
  • Local access is being maintained to businesses and residences on Commonwealth Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue. Parking is being maintained on Massachusetts Avenue.
  • Bicyclists and pedestrians can use the Charlesgate East and Hereford Street crossings.
  • MBTA bus service for Routes 1 and CT1 are being detoured and MBTA customers should plan to allow extra time to reach their destinations.

MassDOT crews have been using accelerated bridge construction techniques for this project in order to minimize traffic impacts and complete the project as quickly as possible.  The contractor for this project is SPS New England, Inc.

 For more information on traffic conditions in regard to this project and for travel in general, members of the public are encouraged to:

  • Dial 511 before heading out onto the roadways and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
  • Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, access to traffic cameras, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.
  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out to reach destinations.

For more information about the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge Replacement Project, please visit the website at www.mass.gov/massdot/massavebridge.

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