The Belmont Street Bridge is located in Worcester, just east of Lincoln Square and the city’s downtown. The bridge carries Route 9, locally known as Belmont Street over I-290. The bridge itself consists of 4 lanes: 2 eastbound and 2 westbound. The span is also part of an interchange with I-290: eastbound traffic on I-290 can exit to Belmont Street at the eastern end of the bridge and Route 9 (Belmont St) traffic from both directions can enter I-290 westbound from the western side of the bridge.
The project area consists of the ¼ mile of Belmont Street around the bridge and the span itself. The current Belmont Street Bridge has reached the end of its useful lifespan and must be replaced. At present, the proposed replacement is expected to cost $9.7 million. The project has advanced beyond the 25% design stage.
The proposed project will include the full replacement of the bridge’s superstructure and central supporting pier. The existing abutments will be widened and incorporated into the new bridge. When completed, the new Belmont Street Bridge will include 2 eastbound lanes, 2 westbound lanes, a westbound left-turn lane to improve traffic operations, and 4 foot shoulders on either side of the bridge to accommodate bicycles. Also as part of the project, the signal equipment at the two intersections abutting the bridge will be updated to include emergency vehicle preemption and meet all Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-requirements.
Managing vehicular, public transit, and pedestrian traffic on Belmont Street during construction is essential to the successful completion of the bridge replacement project. This is particularly important given the local connections made by Belmont Street to downtown Worcester, area hospitals and schools and the Worcester Regional Airport. As of spring 2013, MassDOT’s design team proposes the following conditions during construction to help keep traffic moving:
- The existing bridge will maintain two lanes of travel for the eastbound direction and the westbound will be reduced to one lane of travel throughout the construction duration.
- The I-290 eastbound to Route 9 off ramp will be reduced to two lanes. All existing movements, Left, Through and Right will be allowed during construction.
- Belmont Street westbound left-turn onto I-290 westbound will be prohibited during construction to keep Belmont Street traffic flowing. Alternate routes to I-290 westbound (Shrewsbury Street to Summer Street, Major Taylor Boulevard to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to East Central Street) will be signed.
- A temporary footbridge will be installed just north of the existing bridge to provide pedestrians with a safe path around the construction site.
- No detouring of WRTA or Worcester Public School buses is anticipated.
- Temporary lane shifts will also be required on I-290 both east and westbound to accommodate the proposed center pier replacement.
It is currently anticipated that construction will begin in the spring of 2014 and last for approximately two construction seasons. A construction season is defined as the period between March and November of any given year. MassDOT is currently working with its design team to analyze the use of accelerated construction techniques that can reduce the project’s impact on Belmont Street down to between 12 and 14 months.
October 2012: MassDOT met with the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Council and key downtown stakeholders to provide an overview of the project.
November 2012: MassDOT held a public information meeting to help area residents and stakeholders become acquainted with the project.
January 2013: MassDOT conducted the 25% design public hearing, officially presenting the project to the community and obtaining public input on the job.
March 2013: MassDOT attended a meeting to brief local elected leaders and members of the UMass Memorial Hospital staff on the project, particularly with regards to changes made as part of the comments received through the 25% design public hearing.
June 2013: MassDOT held an additional public information meeting to update the community on the progress of the design process. To view past meeting materials, please visit the meeting materials and documents page.
Fall 2013: the design will be complete allowing the job to be put out to bid.
Spring 2014: construction begins.
If you have any questions, need further information, or want to be added to future informational mailing lists,
please contact Stephanie Boundy, Accelerated Bridge Project Public Outreach Coordinator