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Project Overview

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Comm Ave Replacement

MassDOT's Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project will replace the existing superstructure (the concrete deck and steel beams) that carries Commonwealth Avenue and the MBTA Green Line B branch over I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) and the MBTA Commuter Rail line.

Using Accelerated Bridge Construction techniques (ABC), MassDOT will reduce the construction impacts from 4-5 years to two intensive construction shutdown windows. The first construction shutdown (Stage 2) will take place from Wednesday, July 26, 2017, to Monday, August 14, 2017, with the second shutdown (Stage 4) following in Summer 2018. Based on current plans, the Commonwealth Avenue eastbound and MBTA Green Line B branch segments will be replaced in 2017, with the westbound side of Commonwealth Avenue following in Summer 2018. During construction, MassDOT will maintain bus service on Commonwealth Avenue along with access for emergency vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles on the westbound side.

The existing superstructure consists of three independent, longitudinal sections:

  • Commonwealth Avenue heading east
  • MBTA Green Line B branch
  • Commonwealth Avenue heading west
Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Reconstruction Project Update

Constructed circa 1965, the bridge superstructure is in poor condition and in need of replacement. The deck has deteriorated and the beams have significant corrosion in numerous locations. The substructures are also in poor condition and are currently being rehabilitated under a separate project.

The replacement includes the entire superstructure of the bridge while adding functional and safety improvements, including utility relocations, dedicated bike lanes and extensive pedestrian upgrades (see the Finished Condition on the Construction page).

The width of the bridge superstructure will be approximately the same as it is today, and its vertical profile will be similar to avoid other impacts.

Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) methods will shorten the duration of onsite construction time. MassDOT rejected conventional bridge replacement techniques that would extend construction to 4-5 years and bring related traffic and transit impacts. Using ABC strategies, MassDOT will employ multiple crews working around the clock to remove and replace the existing bridge, while maintaining traffic flow on the Mass Turnpike (I-90) below with lane reductions. MassDOT fast-tracked the project’s design by bringing multiple firms together to contribute collectively to the final design and construction plan. The construction management team, led by Walsh Construction Co., will use precast concrete elements and rapid-set concrete, and will construct the deck panels off-site for positioning when needed. The construction team will work in continuous shifts, 24 hours a day, during the intensive shutdown periods.

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