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93 Fast 14 Rapid Bridge Replacement Project

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I-93 in Medford

View the 93 Fast 14 photo gallery

This historic project replaced fourteen bridges in Medford over the course of just ten weekends between June and August, 2011. MassDOT used several innovations, a detailed traffic management plan and a comprehensive communications plan to complete the bridge work safely, efficiently, economically, and in a manner that caused the least possible construction-related impacts and congestion. The project was completed on-budget and ahead of schedule, replacing all fourteen bridges in less than a year. Using conventional methods, this project would have taken at least four years, and during those four years drivers would have had to endure long-term lane closures.

This project was met with widespread approval. A MassDOT survey supported by FHWA’s Highways for Life Program found that

  • 92.8% of respondents are satisfied with the condition of the bridges/project area as compared to its previous condition
  • 95% of respondents prefer accelerated bridge construction methods to conventional construction methods, primarily because it is faster and results in fewer delays
  • 77.7% of respondents reported that the project had a positive impact on their daily lives
  • 93.1% of respondents were satisfied with the information they received about the project
  • 93.8% of respondents found the information MassDOT communicated to be helpful

Need for the Project

The bridges, built roughly sixty years ago, had reached the end of their service lives and were suffering from deterioration. The concrete of the bridge decks was in poor condition. The steel beams under the concrete decks were also in need of repair. MassDOT replaced the steel beams and concrete decks, which together make up the part of the bridge called the superstructure. The bridges' piers and abutments, which make up the bridges' substructures, were in good condition. MassDOT repaired the fourteen bridge substructures and revised them to fit the replacement superstructures.

Using Technology to Minimize the Duration Of Impacts

The project team fabricated the bridges in segments off site, eliminating years of work in the roadway. The segments MassDOT used are called PBUs or Prefabricated Bridge Units. Each PBU is composed of a concrete deck with two steel beams underneath it. The PBUs were installed by crane and connected with a rapid-setting concrete, replacing at least one bridge each weekend. By replacing the bridges with bridge units that were fabricated off-site, MassDOT eliminated years of work in the roadway.

View the Project Concept Video

A National Example

This project was showcased by the Federal Highway Administrator, Victor Mendez in July 2011, receiving national attention for the innovation it used to get the bridges built so quickly and safely, and for limiting major impacts on road users to off-peak hours.

The 93 Fast 14 Bridge Replacement Showcawse, hosted by the Federal Highway Administration's Highways for LIFE program, attracted highway officials from 26 states. These transportation leaders came to learn how to use customer service and safety-driven innovative techniques on their bridge construction projects. As part of the Showcase, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez joined state and local officials to witness the rapid construction firsthand at the Route 60 bridges.


The project was developed by the Patrick-Murray Administration's Accelerated Bridge Program to result in the fewest construction-related impacts on traffic, businesses, residents and tourism. This $98.1 million project received a $1 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration's Highways for Life program. Over eighty percent of the project cost will be paid for with federal funds. The remaining twenty percent of the project cost (minus the grant money) will be paid for with Accelerated Bridge Program funds.

Project Awards:

  • 2012 AASHTO America's Transportation Award, Ahead of Schedule
  • 2012 AASHTO Subcommittee on Performance Management, Team Performance Excellence
  • 2012 AASHTO America's Transportation Award, Best Use of Innovation
  • 2012 ACEC Honor Award
  • 2012 ACEC, Massachusetts Chapter, Grand Conceptor Award for Design Excellence
  • 2012 CMAA Project Achievement Award
  • 2012 CMAA New England Project of the Year (projects less than $100M)
  • 2012 ENR Best Projects, Best Overall Project
  • 2012 Women in Transportation Seminar, Boston Chapter, Innovative Transportation Solutions Award

Contact Information

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