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.
Video: Toll Plaza Demolition, Reconstruction Shown Step by Step posted on Oct 26
On October 28, I-90 (The Massachusetts Turnpike) will transition to All Electronic Tolling, and MassDOT will begin demolishing the existing toll plazas and reconstructing the roadways. The following is a visualization of what drivers can expect to see as they travel through an existing toll …Continue Reading Video: Toll Plaza Demolition, Reconstruction Shown Step by Step
Cementing the Future of the Braga Bridge posted on Oct 25
When MassDOT undertakes a bridge and highway restoration project, such as the Route 79/Braga Bridge Improvements Project, it aims to make efficient and long-lasting choices of materials. Materials are meticulously evaluated and chosen to ensure lower maintenance costs and an improved service life. For the …Continue Reading Cementing the Future of the Braga Bridge
All Electronic Tolling Activated October 28, Toll Plaza Demolitions Begin This Weekend posted on Oct 24
MassDOT today hosted a news conference and media tour in Weston to inform the public that plans are on schedule to activate All Electronic Tolling (AET) in the state on Friday, October 28, at 10 p.m., and to immediately deploy equipment to begin the process …Continue Reading All Electronic Tolling Activated October 28, Toll Plaza Demolitions Begin This Weekend