Posted by Shoukry Elnahal, MassDOT Deputy Chief Engineer for Bridges & Tunnels
Over the last few days, MassDOT and the Accelerated Bridge Program have received national attention and praise for using innovation to accelerate construction, improve safety and minimize construction-related congestion on I-93 and local roads during the replacement of fourteen bridges in Medford, a project known as the 93Fast14. Without the innovations that the Accelerated Bridge Program is using— Design-Build, Prefabricated Modular Units, and rapid-setting concrete— this project would take at least four years to complete and would require lengthy lane closures.
Last year’s potholes on I-93 demonstrated that lane closures during peak travel hours are simply not an option for this project. The Accelerated Bridge Program’s project development team and Highway Division leaders carefully planned the project so that much of the work could occur off-site, eliminating the need for several weeks of lane closures. Instead, each weekend MassDOT is demolishing and replacing one or two bridges.
Replacing a bridge or two in a weekend is a remarkable achievement, and there’s a good reason why this project has been referred to as ‘the most ambitious in the country’. Thanks to the coordination of managers and the dedicated work of each man and woman on site, the 93 Fast 14 bridges have been reopened hours ahead of schedule each weekend.
This week, the team was honored with a visit from Governor Patrick. This past weekend, the team hosted over 160 transportation leaders from as far away as Oregon, California and Puerto Rico. These leaders came to MassDOT to learn from this incredible project. Federal Highway Administrator Mendez visited the Salem Street Bridges, and was ‘thoroughly impressed’.
In his Fast Lane blog, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, called the project ‘an exciting demonstration of American innovation’. The project has also received favorable reviews from residents who have visited the site. Although the project is not without noisy weekends and short-term traffic slow-downs, it is wonderful to see the awe on onlookers’ faces as the new bridge is assembled right before their eyes. It is excellent to know that this project eliminates years of crippling traffic congestion, avoids the work zone hazards of staged construction and will result in long-lasting improvements in important infrastructure for all.
MassDOT, MBTA Launch Focus40 posted on May 23
MassDOT and the MBTA will kick off development of a long-term investment plan for the MBTA at Northeastern University’s Curry Student Center at 5 p.m., on Tuesday, May 24. Known as Focus40, the effort looks ahead at how the MBTA can serve the people of …Continue Reading MassDOT, MBTA Launch Focus40
MassDOT, MassWildlife Event Highlights Peregrine Falcon Nest Box Program posted on May 21
MassDOT’s Highway Division and the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs’ Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife hosted an event on Friday, May 20 to highlight the joint Peregrine Falcon Nest Box Program and other cross-agency efforts to help with the recovery, conservation and …Continue Reading MassDOT, MassWildlife Event Highlights Peregrine Falcon Nest Box Program
Leominster: Mechanic Street Groundbreaking posted on May 20
MassDOT officials joined Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella today to celebrate groundbreaking for the reconstruction of Mechanic Street. The project will reconstruct Mechanic Street from its intersection with Laurel Street and east to the Leominster Connector to make it safer for vehicle and pedestrian traffic and …Continue Reading Leominster: Mechanic Street Groundbreaking