Purpose of the Project
This project is replacing the old River Street bridge crossing over the MBTA and CSX railroad tracks in Boston (Hyde Park). Age, weather, and use took a toll on the concrete deck and the steel beams that supported it. Together, the beams and deck make up the part of the bridge called the superstructure. During the weekend of April 13, 2012 MassDOT replaced the bridge's superstructure using innovative, but proven, techniques to replace the bridge safely and quickly. Although the bridge has been replaced, there is still more work to do. Over the next several weeks, workers will perform several activities, including: roadwork, sidewalks, drainage, street lighting, fencing, and final pavement markings.
Maximizing Mobility and Minimizing Community Impacts
In order to maximize mobility during construction and ensure the least possible impact to the surrounding community, MassDOT used innovative construction methods called Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques. ABC techniques minimize the duration of work in performed in areas such as roadways, sidewalks and railroad tracks. On this project, MassDOT pre-constructed the new superstructure just southwest of the bridge in an area called a staging area. The superstructure was built on temporary supports called shoring towers. The superstructure was moved into place using specialized heavy lifting equipment called SPMTs.
Moving the Bridge
During this stage of the work, which happened between April 13 and April 16, 2012, the old superstructure was demolished, requiring the bridge and railroad tracks to be closed and traffic to be detoured. On Saturday, April 14, when the old superstructure was gone, the contractor prepared the top of the abutments for the new superstructure. On Sunday, the 15th, heavy-lifting machines called Self-Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMTs) lifted the new superstructure from its supports, moved it down to the railroad tracks, carried it along the tracks, and lowered it into position.
Once in place, workers prepared the approaches to the bridge and paved it. Overall, the detour period required to do this work will lasted only three days. To minimize impacts to the surrounding community, MassDOT scheduled the detour period to occur during the April school vacation. By using accelerated bridge construction methods on this project, MassDOT will avoid over two years of lane restrictions and reduce the period of night work from the previously planned 30 months to 12 months.” MassDOT has successfully used this technique, called a “heavy lift”, to replace bridges in Phillipston, Wellesley and now Hyde Park.
The River Street Bridge is open to traffic and pedestrians..
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