Rapid Bridge Construction Technique Will Limit Traffic Disruptions During Fairhaven Bridge Replacement
BOSTON (Friday, March 15, 2013) – Today, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation detailed plans to replace the I-195 bridge decks that carry traffic over River Avenue in Fairhaven, near the New Bedford line, in four weekends within a six week period beginning on March 22.
The rapid bridge construction technique, which calls for the use of eight prefabricated bridge units, will allow MassDOT to limit traffic disruptions and replace the deteriorated bridge decks before the busy spring and summer travel season begins.
“This replacement is part of the Accelerated Bridge Program that has allowed MassDOT to reduce the backlog of structurally deficient bridges statewide by 20%,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. “Here in Fairhaven, we are pleased to be able to address the structural issues and also improve the customer experience by drastically reducing both the construction schedule and traffic delays.”
At no time will I-195 be closed completely to traffic. During construction, drivers will follow a lane shift through the work zone. These shifts will be similar to those that allowed MassDOT to replace 14 bridges on I-93 in ten weekends during the summer of 2011.
The deck replacement work will be performed in two phases. During the first phase, (I-195 Westbound work), two lanes of traffic will be maintained in both directions. During phase two (I-195 Eastbound work), there will be one travel lane heading eastbound with restricted access from Route 18 and Washburn Street during the weekend deck replacement. Ramp detours will be in place during this period. Two lanes of westbound traffic will remain open during phase two.
Using traditional construction methods and overnight roadway closures to replace the superstructure, the project would take between 12 to 18 months to complete. The bridge carries, on average, 50,000 vehicles a day. The construction cost to replace the superstructure is approximately $5 million.
The contractor, LM Heavy Civil, is working under both incentive and disincentive clauses for, respectively, early and late completion of the weekend work. The deck replacements are scheduled to be completed by April 29th with a project completion of June 14th. This project is weather dependent and any inclement weather may force us to alter the work schedule.
Motorists are encouraged to monitor MassDOT’s Twitter page for project photos and details @MassDOT or call 511 for traveler information during the construction periods.
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