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img_3062The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has announced that its accelerated replacement of the Route 3 southbound bridge in Braintree was completed at approximately 1:00 a.m. on Monday, October 16, several hours ahead of schedule.

Accelerated operations began at 10 p.m., on Friday, October 13, and have meant ramp closures, lane reductions, and detours throughout the area as crews worked 24/7 to demolish the existing bridge, put in place prefabricated steel beams, concrete deck panels, and mill and pave the roadway. MassDOT previously replaced the bridge on Route 3 northbound on the weekend of September 22-25.

“We are proud of the efforts of our crews and contractors who have worked to complete these accelerated construction operations in an efficient manner and help minimize the impact on the local community,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We were able to replace this bridge on Route 3 southbound in less time than expected thanks in part to the cooperation of the traveling public, the careful planning of our designers and engineers, and the coordination with key stakeholders and civic leaders.”

For this $6.3 million project, crews have used accelerated methods on two weekends to replace two bridges that carry Route 3 over an I-93 ramp just south of the Braintree split. In order to accommodate construction operations, crews implemented “crossovers” so that all traffic was diverted away from these bridges and shifted onto the adjacent side of the roadway and a nearby ramp. Traffic using nearby ramps was also detoured onto local roadways.

The full scope of work for this significant construction project was explained to the public, elected officials and the media on many occasions. Preparation and work-related activities for this project have been ongoing since the spring. The Route 3 bridge replacement activities involve crews putting in place simple span welded steel plate girders, composite concrete decks as well as modified beam sets.

All work associated with the project is expected to be completed by fall 2018 as activities to be completed in 2018 include removing the crossovers, utility operations, drainage work, landscaping, and minor finishing work.

The Baker-Polito Administration has spent over $2.8 billion since 2015 on highway construction projects and bridges, pavement, intersection and sidewalk improvements, and bike lanes, and over $700 million in Chapter 90 local transportation funding for cities and towns. In addition, $16 million has also been awarded through the Administration’s Small Bridge Program, which was announced in 2016, and allows municipalities to repair or replace their small bridges which are not eligible for federal funding. The Baker-Polito Administration has also awarded a total of approximately $17.7 million in Complete Streets Funding Awards which allow cities and towns to make road, sidewalks, and bicycle infrastructure upgrades. Statewide, those investments have paved approximately 2,000 lane miles, enough to cross Massachusetts and back at least 5 times; installed 160 miles of sidewalk, almost encircling the Quabbin Reservoir; and rehabilitated or replaced approximately 80 bridges.

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