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Agencies Gear Up for Projects Across New England

Thu April 26, 2018 - Northeast Edition #9
Lori Tobias – CEG Correspondent

As temperatures warm and days grow drier, state and local agencies are gearing up for construction projects all over New England — some still in the planning stages, others, phases in ongoing plans. Here's a look at what's coming up:


Walk Railroad Bridge Program — Advance work necessary for the upcoming $550 million Walk Railroad Bridge Program is continuing with construction on the replacement bridge set for 2019. The 120-year-old bridge carries four tracks of the New Haven commuter rail line over the Norwalk River. It swings open and closed to accommodate commercial and recreational marine traffic on the river below. Work on related projects has been ongoing since 2016 and includes: The Fender Repair Project to repair the fenders around the piers that protect both the Walk Bridge and boats from damage in the event of a collision; the Danbury Branch Dockyard Project required to facilitate rail operations during construction of the Walk Bridge, including adding track sidings, signal work and electrification to the southern end of the Danbury Branch of the New Haven line; and the CP243 Interlocking Project to construct a new four-track interlocking to allow for two-track Metro-North Railroad operations during reconstruction of the Walk Bridge.


Massachusetts Avenue Bridge Replacement — MassDOT is preparing to move ahead with Phases 3 and 4 of the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge Replacement Project. The project replaces the bridges over Commonwealth Avenue in Back Bay. Phase 3, scheduled for May 5 through May 23, is the actual replacement. Phase 4, also slated to get under way in May, involves completion of the Commonwealth Avenue bypass barrier and Massachusetts Avenue sidewalk, barrier and surface work, including new lighting, traffic signals, refurbished fence, new pavement, pavement markings and bike lanes. Phase 4 is scheduled to be completed in September.

Boston Harbor — A contract for dredging portions of the Boston Harbor Federal Navigation Project's main ship channel was recently awarded to Cashman/Dutra, Joint Venture of Quincy, Mass. Work on the $122.2 million project is tentatively slated to get under way this spring. The dredging is expected to take approximately three years to complete to deepen the project to its newly authorized depths to accommodate large container ships that have begun calling on the U.S. east coast since Panama Canal improvements were completed.

The project calls for the dredging of approximately 11.7 million cu. yds. of silt, blue clay, till and weathered rock. The work is designed to deepen and widen the Broad Sound North Channel to -51 feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW); deepen and widen the Main Ship Channel to the Conley Terminal, including the turning basin to -47 ft. MLLW; and deepening the President Roads Anchorage and deepening the lower Reserved Channel to -47 ft. MLLW.

The dredged material will be taken to the Massachusetts Bay Disposal Site (MBDS) approximately 20 mi. offshore of Boston Harbor, with the exception of a small fraction of the material being placed as a cap to the Main Ship Channel Confined Aquatic Disposal (CAD) cell, just downstream of the inner confluence of the Chelsea and Mystic Rivers.

Silver Line Gateway Project — Construction on Phase 2 of the $56.7 million Silver Line Gateway Project is scheduled to begin this spring. The Silver Line Gateway Project will provide new, dedicated bus rapid transit (BRT) service connecting Chelsea and East Boston with the Red Line's South Station and Seaport District in Boston. The Silver Line Gateway will offer fast travel times and the potential for high ridership.

The upcoming work includes relocating and constructing a new fully accessible Commuter Rail Station adjacent to the Mystic Mall at Everett Avenue. Other elements of the Phase 2 work include implementation of new traffic signals at the busway intersections with Everett Avenue, Spruce Street and Arlington Street and upgrades to the railroad signal system and grade crossings. Construction of the Phase 2 work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.

New Hampshire

I-93 Exit 4A Project Derry and Londonderry — The Towns of Derry and Londonderry and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation are moving forward on an updated environmental study for the I-93 Exit 4A Project. The project consists of a new diamond interchange on I-93 in the Town of Londonderry, approximately one mile north of Exit 4, providing access to the east side of I-93. The purpose of the project is to reduce congestion and improve safety along NH 102, from I-93 easterly through downtown Derry and to promote economic vitality in the Derry/Londonderry area.

Planning is decades in the making with the first Draft Environmental Impact Statement conducted in 2007. Construction of the project is anticipated to begin in 2019 and be completed by 2022. The programmed cost of the Project within the 2017–2026 Ten Year Plan is $56,855,000, including preliminary engineering, right-of-way, and construction costs.


North Hero – Grand Isle Drawbridge — June is the set start date for construction to begin on a project to replace the North Hero – Grand Isle Drawbridge. The historic twin leaf bascule bridge is the only vehicular moveable bridge in the state of Vermont. Work includes building a temporary drawbridge prior to replacing the existing drawbridge in order to minimize traffic impacts. According to the Vermont Agency of Transportation, the project will be contracted following the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CMGC) process.

“The selected contractor to work with the HDR Engineering team through the design phase is Cianbro Corporation. The CMGC process is different than a traditional design-bid-build in the way that the contractor is awarded in two separate phases. Phase 1 — the contractor performs a construction management service during the design phase of a project. This is helpful for the success of projects that require specialized construction methods and services. Phase 2 — the contractor is contracted for general construction services to construct the project. Work is set to be complete in 2022.


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