BOSTON (Wednesday, February 27, 2013) – Today, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Board of Directors approved construction contracts for the rehabilitation of the Longfellow Bridge, which links Boston and Cambridge, and the replacement of the Whittier Bridge on Interstate 95 in Amesbury, Newburyport and Salisbury.
“These two projects are true capstones of the Accelerated Bridge Program,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. “These projects accommodate our multi-modal society with the inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian facilities.”
The contract for the rehabilitation for the Longfellow Bridge, which carries Route 3 over the Charles River, between Boston and Cambridge, was awarded to J. F. White/Skanska Koch/Consigli, in the amount of $255,489,000. In addition to vehicular traffic, the Longfellow also carries the MBTA’s Red Line and will feature improved sidewalks and bicycle lanes.
The Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project, which includes the replacement of John Greenleaf Whittier Memorial Bridge and improvements to eight additional bridges to accommodate the widening of I-95, was awarded to the joint venture of Walsh/McCourt in the amount of $292,155,280. The project calls for shared used paths and pedestrian overlooks along the Merrimack River.
These two bridges are among five projects in ABP known as Mega Projects. There is one remaining Mega Project to be awarded. The bid opening on the Fall River Interchange Improvement Project at I-195, Rt. 79 and Rt. 138 is scheduled for May 1st. The Burns Bridge in Worcester/Shrewsbury and the Fore River Bridge linking Quincy and Weymouth are currently under construction.
The Longfellow and Whittier projects will break ground this spring and employ hundreds of skilled construction workers. Since its creation in 2008, ABP has sustained 18,859 constructions jobs.
Since 2008, the number structurally deficient bridges has dropped from 543 to 436, a decline of 19.7%. As of January 1, 2013 the ABP Program has completed 121 bridge projects, with another 48 bridge projects currently in construction, and an additional 20 bridge projects scheduled to start construction within the next year. Over the course of the eight year program, well over 200 bridges are planned to be replaced or repaired.
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