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P. Gioioso & Sons Inc. Rebuilding Newport Avenue Bridge

Mon September 28, 2009 - Northeast Edition
Jay Adams

This past August marked the end of the first year of work and near completion of the first phase of the new Newport Avenue Bridge in busy South Attleboro, Mass., at the Pawtucket, R.I., line.

P. Gioioso & Sons Inc. of Hyde Park, Mass., is the general contractor on the project, which was bid in March 2008 and saw its first earth moved in August. 2008.

"We are reconstructing the bridge in three phases, in order to maintain the existing traffic flow," said Joseph Gioioso, project manager of P. Gioioso & Sons. "Phase 1 will be complete in 2009 and the completion date for the entire project is August 2011."

Gioioso said the estimated cost of the entire project would be $8,732,000.

He added that the bridge, built almost 80 years ago, was no longer adequate to accommodate the estimated 33,000 cars and trucks which cross it daily, according to MassHighway officials.

Much Needed Replacement

"The existing bridge was built in the 1930s and was heavily deteriorated," said Gioioso. "The bridge had a truck rating of approximately 20 tons, and it had very narrow travel lanes and sidewalks. The land widths are only 10 feet wide and these are very inadequate," to support 2009 traffic patterns.

Gioioso said that the new bridge will not only help the traffic flow from the city of Pawtucket into the Attleboro area and its several miles of stores, strip malls and malls along Newport Avenue (heavily traveled Route 1A), but part of the project includes improvements to the adjacent train platforms at the South Attleboro Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) train station.

The South Attleboro train stop sees thousands of daily commuters from both Rhode Island and Massachusetts who take dozens of daily MBTA trains to and from Boston and Providence, and dozens of Amtrak Acela train commuters who ride these same rails from Boston as far south as Washington, D.C.

General contractor P. Gioioso & Sons Inc. have five decades of experience in bridge building.

"We are a third-generation family business, which has been in business since 1962," said Joseph Gioioso. "Our company employs over 100 people," with about 20 percent of those workers onsite daily.

The owner and supervisor of the project is MassHighway Department and the designer is AECOM of Concord, Mass.

Subcontractors in this phase of the work include:

• Steel Erectors — Saugus Construction Corp., Georgetown, Mass., and Regis Steel Corp., Braintree, Mass.

• Electrical — Drew Electric Inc., Quincy, Mass.

• Paving — Aggregate Industries Inc. Stoughton, Mass.

Gioioso added that when the new bridge is complete, approximately 2,800 cu. yds. (2,141 cu m) of concrete will be used, as well as 5,000 tons (4,536 t) of asphalt and 400 tons (363 t) of steel.

Considering that the bridge work is literally above the tracks and will extend into and improve the standing areas around the Amtrak electrified rail system, the company must take certain precautions in its daily approach to the $8.7 million improvements.

"Any work over the railroad tracks needs to be performed at night when the Amtrak electrification system for the Acela trains, is de-energized," said Gioioso.

P. Gioioso & Sons Inc. has a total of 15 workers onsite, mostly on day shift. Some night work over the railroad tracks occurs between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

"This is a very challenging project due to the heavy traffic volumes on the roadway, the electrified Amtrak train system below, and the restricted work areas," said the project manager. "The project has been successful to date as a result of the close cooperation between Mass. Highway and its designer and our firm."

Commuters Happy

South Attleboro commuters now stand next to excavators and earthmovers, supplies and men with hardhats as the work continues. However, they recognize that this is necessary to improve the bridge and its highway, and, nearby, the walkways and train station platforms on which they will stand to catch regional and local trains.

"This work had to be done," said Rudy Stanz of Allston, Mass. "There are a lot of people who use this station and the bridge is the turn off to get on the highway (Interstate 95 North and South) and to turn into the shopping plaza to park and catch the train. It's kind of a pain now, but it will be a lot better down the road."

"The walkways are too narrow. They are terrible if you have a child in a stroller," said Elsie Garbow of Attleboro, Mass. "They will be wider and much easier to stand on, waiting for the train, I guess."

Father and Five Sons

P. Gioioso & Sons Inc. is a multi-faceted general contractor since 1962. Its main location is in Boston where the company also houses its equipment maintenance facility.

The company provides complete construction capabilities in utility, heavy construction, and design/build throughout the state of Massachusetts and adjacent states.

Most of the company's clients are public agencies, cities and towns. According to its Web site, their completed and current projects vary in size and complexity and range in value up to $35 million with the capacity of handling larger projects up to $75 million.

Currently, P. Gioioso & Sons is constructing a six-year, $48 million design/build combined sewer overflow project with US Filter and the Maguire Group for the Lynn, Mass., Water and Sewer Commission. The project is the first CSO design/build project in the nation.

A father and five sons founded the company in 1962, essentially the first working crew, in water and sewer infrastructures and golf course projects within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Step by step, P. Gioioso & Sons Inc. has grown to be a solid and a well-diversified general contractor in environmental and transportation projects.

For 47 years, it has been operating on a simple approach introduced by its founders and still effective to this day. This approach applies to owners, agencies, suppliers, subcontractors as well as employees. The values of honoring commitments, producing quality work, and operating honestly with integrity and fairness, regardless of potential financial consequences, are the values that still hold true throughout the company today. CEG

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