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Chelsea/Route 1 Viaduct

Schedule and Process

The team has been working through preliminary design and will be submitting 25% Progress Plans in preparation for the Design Public Hearing (25% DPH). The 25% DPH is anticipated for Fall 2017. Following the DPH and internal review, the team will refine the plans to Final Design, and work to integrate public and internal comments to the extent feasible. MassDOT’s goal is to advertise the project for construction bidding in March 2018, and begin construction that year, to meet the timeframe for the Tobin Bridge project.

A plan for public outreach during the construction period will be developed in alignment with a MassDOT project of this size and scope.


The Chelsea Viaduct runs through a dense neighborhood, with homes and businesses abutting the structure, and parking lots directly underneath. Given the state of the viaduct, MassDOT is coordinating with the Tobin project’s 2017-2020 construction period in order to shorten the overall period during which Chelsea experiences construction impacts. MassDOT is also considering Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques, like those used during the Route 3 Bridge Replacement Project in Braintree in order to accelerate the period of disturbance.

To gather input and plan to mitigate impacts associated with the project, the team will be performing a full suite of public outreach and community engagement, environmental justice analysis, structural and survey analysis, and both internal and interagency coordination.

Construction and Traffic Management

The first stage of the project will be 1.5 – 2 years of substructure work, to retrofit and repair the supports for the new superstructure. Traffic and night-work impacts will be low during this stage. The superstructure and deck will be repaired and replaced second; this stage will include heavier traffic and construction-related impacts, including night and possible weekend work, ramp closures, and traffic detours. This final stage will result in a restored, rehabilitated, and reinforced Chelsea Viaduct

We expect construction to include:

  • Mitigation and control of temporary construction impacts to residents and abutters, such as dust and noise
  • Temporary relocations of Arlington St @ Fifth St MBTA bus stop (serving Routes 111, 112, and 114), and of parking impacted by work-zones
  • Traffic diversions and detours, including ramp closures, during replacement of the superstructure
  • Night and possible weekend work as a way to shorten construction

The public outreach process will seek to illuminate concerns, ideas, and other impacting variables that may be expected. We want to hear from you.

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