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Boston's Largest Bridge Ready for Rehab

Monday, September 18, 2017

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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is preparing for its second major renovation of Boston’s Tobin Bridge in less than a decade, a project that will involve work over the next three construction seasons.

The Tobin, touted as the largest bridge in New England, underwent a three-year, $44.8 million rehab ending in 2014, including the installation of an electronic tolling system. The upcoming project, which involves deck rehabilitation, structural steel repairs and painting, largely to the spans of the Chelsea (north-end) approach to the bridge, will cost $41.6 million.

Tobin Bridge
Images: MassDOT

The Tobin Bridge will undergo a $41 million rehab job over the next three years, concentrating largely on the Chelsea (north-end) approach spans.

J.F. White Contracting was awarded the contract; the Framingham, Massachusetts-based infrastructure contractor also performed deck rehab work on the Tobin in 2008. The 2012-14 project was headed up by the Liberty-Alpha Joint Venture.

Contract Details

The contract with J.F. White followed the design-bid-build procurement method; bids opened July 18, and MassDOT announced the contract award at its board meeting Sept. 11. Phase One construction is expected to begin in April 2018 and run through November; the entire project is estimated to be complete in June 2020, though the contractor has three years from the notice to proceed, which is scheduled to be issued about two weeks after the Sept. 11 approval.

A representative of J.F. White told PaintSquare Daily News Friday (Sept. 15) that the company does not yet have a painting subcontractor selected for the project.

Tobin Bridge rust

The contractor will also be responsible for repairs to corroded areas of the structural steel on the Chelsea end of the bridge.

MassDOT documents show that the lower deck of the Chelsea approach will be subject to concrete fill replacement as part of the project, as well as repairs to the grid deck. The contractor will also be responsible for repairs to corroded areas of the structural steel on the Chelsea end of the bridge.

About the Bridge

The Tobin Bridge, a cantilever truss bridge, opened in 1950 and was originally known as the Mystic River Bridge. Designed by J.E. Greiner Co., it runs more than two miles total between Boston and Chelsea, with a longest span—directly over the Mystic River—of 800 feet. The bridge also crosses over the Little Mystic River via a 439-foot span. The main cantilever structure is 1,525 feet long.

According to MassDOT, the bridge includes 36 approach spans on its north end and another 32 on the south; it conveys northbound traffic on a lower level and southbound traffic on an upper level.

In 2008, the Tobin, then operated by the Massachusetts Port Authority, was outfitted with a network of sensors to help monitor stress and corrosion, making it the first “smart bridge” in the state. MassDOT took over operation of the bridge in 2010.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Contractors; Contracts; Government contracts; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Roads/Highways; Steel

Comment from luiz de miranda, (9/18/2017, 8:40 AM)

What is the paint scheme and when this one failed?

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