Springfield area drivers may have noticed some new equipment and activity in the closed inner lanes on the I-91 Viaduct. Major construction on the I-91 Viaduct in Springfield began this past fall and MassDOT closed the lanes on each side of the median between I-91 North and South in December 2015. Now MassDOT has achieved another major milestone: demolition of the viaduct’s reinforced concrete deck has begun.
MassDOT’s contractor, the Joint Venture of White-Schiavone, will use a hoe-ram to break up concrete and remove it piece by piece from the I-91 Northbound work zone. The contractor will also saw cut steel reinforcement bars within the concrete deck. The contractor will be working two shifts (7:00 AM to 5:00 PM and 4:00 PM to midnight) on Mondays through Fridays, to ensure demolition is completed according to schedule.
You may have noticed some of the tools and techniques being used to reduce and mitigate for noise resulting from the demolition. Noise control curtains are produced locally by Sound Seal in Agawam, MA. They are composed of quilted fiberglass sound absorbers mounted to reinforced vinyl noise barriers. The curtains line 625 feet of the northbound side of I-91 in noise sensitive areas between Pynchon Street and Bridge Street. The contractor has also retrofitted on-site equipment with special back-up alarms. These alarms limit the sound to a set level above the current background noise to limit the impact of the alarms while protecting the workers on site.
MassDOT has also mounted screens on the chain-link fences that top the concrete barriers. The screens have several uses: they limit visibility into the work area, which may be distracting to passing motorists, and they block dust and objects from entering the roadway and protect the work area. The visibility screens are also in place where the noise control curtains are installed, which makes the locations of the noise control curtains difficult to see from the open travel lanes.
MassDOT expects to continue demolishing the viaduct deck through summer 2017. For the latest project information, and to sign up for email updates and traffic advisories, please visit the project website.
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