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Boston Bridge Replaced in One Weekend

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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A bridge replacement project outside of Boston that normally would have taken close to three years to complete was done in less than three days, state transportation officials announced.

Workers demolished and replaced the 102-year-old Clayton Street Bridge, which carries the subway's Red Line in Dorchester, MA, over the weekend, a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority spokesperson said.

The $5.5 million project, part of the state's Accelerated Bridge Program, used "heavy lift" accelerated bridge construction, by which MBTA contractor Barletta Heavy Division pre-assembled the replacement bridge on temporary supports at a staging area.

MassDOT Accelerated Bridge Program
Flickr / MassDOT

Crews in Massachusetts rolled a new subway bridge in place in less than three days. The project was part of the state's Accelerated Bridge Program and used "heavy lift" accelerated construction techniques.

After demolishing the old bridge, workers used heavy lifting equipment called "self-propelled modular transporter" to pick up the new, 280,000-pound bridge, carry it down the street, and lower it into place.

'Extreme Makeover'

Demolition of the existing bridge started at 9 p.m. ET Friday (Nov. 8), and the new bridge was open to rail service by 5 a.m. Monday (Nov. 11).

If the agency would have used a typical phased construction method, it would have taken 30 months to replace the Clayton Street Bridge, according to MBTA.

"This is an extreme makeover project that will save the taxpayers money," Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary Richard A. Davey told the Boston Herald, adding that building the bridge the traditional way would've cost an additional $7-8 million.

Clayton Street Bridge

The old Clayton Street Bridge was 102 years old. It was the first bridge to be replaced in the MBTA subway system using the Accelerated Bridge Program.

"This is a short-term inconvenience, but for a bridge that's going to last 75 years, it's a good long-term investment for our customers," Davey said.

Accelerated Bridge Program

Established in 2008, the $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program expects to replace or repair over 200 bridges during the eight year program. Accelerated bridge construction techniques minimize the duration of construction, increases safety and significantly reduces the duration of detours and rail service disruptions, according to MBTA.

The same technique has been used successfully to replace bridges in Boston, Wellesley and Philipston, but it was the first time it was used to replace a bridge in the MBTA subway system.

As of Aug. 1, 138 bridges have been replaced under the program, with another 38 under construction and 22 scheduled to start within the next calendar year, according to MassDOT.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Construction; Contractors; Department of Transportation (DOT); Design; Public Transit

Comment from M. Halliwell, (11/13/2013, 10:32 AM)

If the set-up is right and abutments sound, a drop-in span can make replacement a much quicker process.

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