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Posted by Shoukry Elnahal, Deputy Chief Engineer for Bridges and Tunnels

Wellesley Heavy Lift Bridge Ready, July 1, 2011 MassDOT’s Accelerated Bridge Program is performing an incredible feat this weekend— demolishing an old bridge and replacing it with a new bridge in just 72 hours.

The highlight of the weekend will occur on Sunday morning when the replacement bridge, already built in a cloverleaf alongside the old bridge, will be picked up and carried along a short section of Route 9 by four special remote-controlled heavy haulers.

MassDOT organized the project so that it would have the least possible impact on the numerous people who use both Route 9 and Cedar Street each day. By constructing the bridge in the cloverleaf, rather than in the roadway, MassDOT has minimized the duration of impact to road users. The project requires just 72 hours of detours and will be complete in a single construction season. In comparison, conventional cast-in-place construction methods would have taken two years and would have required several months of lane closures.

The 72-hour detour will occur between 10 PM tonight and 10 PM on Monday, July 4th, when crews must close the work area to demolish and replace the bridge. The work area is the area immediately surrounding the intersection of Route 9 and Cedar Street. Vehicles traveling along Route 9 will travel up and down the exit ramps around the bridge, continuing on Route 9. Southbound traffic travelling on Cedar Street will turn right onto Route 9 westbound and reverse direction at the next intersection, returning to Cedar Street south of the work zone via the exit ramp. Northbound traffic travelling on Cedar Street will enter Route 9 eastbound and reverse direction at the next intersection, returning to Cedar Street north of the work zone via the exit ramp. To provide mobility for pedestrians, MassDOT’s contractor will provide shuttle service to pedestrians crossing Route 9 via Cedar Street.

To learn more about the project, please visit www.mass.gov/massdot/heavyliftwellesley. You can also see photos of the construction and equipment in the project’s MassDOT Flickr gallery.

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