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.
Governor Patrick Signs “Boston Strong” License Plate Bill posted on Apr 18
Governor Deval Patrick today signed legislation creating a Massachusetts “Boston Strong” license plate. The legislation directs the Registry of Motor Vehicles to establish a license plate memorializing the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings adorned with the phrase “Boston Strong.” All proceeds from sales of …Continue Reading Governor Patrick Signs “Boston Strong” License Plate Bill
Whittier Bridge I-95 Update: River Boaters Notice posted on Apr 18
The Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project continues through the 2014 boating season. Much of the work this season to construct the new northbound span of the Whittier Bridge is taking place from the Merrimack River to the immediate east of the existing bridge. Several large barges, …Continue Reading Whittier Bridge I-95 Update: River Boaters Notice
Route 79/Braga Bridge Project Public Meeting Set posted on Apr 17
Please join MassDOT at a public meeting for an update on construction progress on the Route 79/Braga Bridge Improvements Project, as follows: Wednesday, April 30, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Heritage State Park Auditorium, 200 Davol Street, Fall River The meeting will include an opportunity …Continue Reading Route 79/Braga Bridge Project Public Meeting Set