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Burns Bridge FinalMassDOT is pleased to announce that the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has named the Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge Project in Worcester-Shrewsbury a winner in the 2016 America’s Transportation Awards competition.

The Burns Bridge received a regional Quality of Life/Community Development Award and will now be considered for inclusion in the AASHTO national “Top Ten” projects competition.  The Association presented the award on June 7 to MassDOT representatives during the group’s annual meeting in Quebec City, Quebec.

“The new Burns Bridge has transformed the Route 9 corridor over Lake Quinsigamond for all bridge users and marine traffic,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are pleased to see the project receive well-deserved recognition for its contribution to enhancing the quality of life for bridge users and for everyone living in the surrounding area.”

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack added, “The design of the new Burns Bridge reflects the philosophy of the Baker-Polito Administration which is that the focus of transportation projects should be the customer.  This bridge has many design elements which take into consideration the surrounding businesses and neighborhoods and which allow for safe travel for everyone, whether they are walking, biking, or driving.”

The bridge project was completed four months ahead of the scheduled completion date of January 2016 and $5 million under the original $110 million budget. The new Burns Bridge replaced a 100-year old structurally deficient bridge.

In a letter congratulating MassDOT for the Burns Bridge award, AASHTO Executive Director Bud Wright wrote that the award is given to projects deemed as, “making communities stronger, our economy more efficient, and our quality of life better.”  The America’s Transportation Awards competition was created by AASHTO in 2008 with the support of AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to demonstrate that state departments of transportation are delivering value for our transportation dollars.

The Burns Bridge project began in late June 2012 and was officially completed in August 2015. The contractor was Middlesex Corporation. The new five span steel deck arch structure provides three travel lanes in both directions on Route 9 with exclusive left and right-turn lanes on the westbound approach into Worcester. The bridge will accommodate projected increases in traffic and includes bicycle lanes and sidewalks in both directions of the bridge. The project also included improvements on Lake Avenue to the north and south of Route 9 to improve bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. The roadway profile has been raised in order to provide improved vertical under-clearance for recreational users of the Lake Quinsigamond.

As a regional winner, the Burns Bridge will next be considered for inclusion in the “Top Ten” projects in the competition, which will be announced in September, and these projects will then compete for the Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Awards. The Grand Prize winner is selected by a panel of transportation experts, and the People’s Choice Award is chosen online by the voting public. Both prizes carry a $10,000 cash prize to support a transportation-related scholarship or charitable cause.

 

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