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State plans 2-year, $10m project to rebuild Cambridge Street bridge over I-90 in Allston

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  June 5, 2013 06:17 PM

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The state is planning a two-year, $10-million project to completely rebuild a bridge that carries Cambridge Street over the Massachusetts Turnpike and commuter rail tracks in Allston, officials said.

The bridge currently carries three traffic lanes in each direction. After it is rebuilt, the bridge will carry two traffic lanes in each direction as bike lanes will be added along each side, officials said.

The bridge deck is rated in “poor condition and it is at the end of its serviceable life,” said Michael Verseckes, a spokesman for the state’s transportation department. Jersey barriers have for months blocked vehicles from driving on a part of the bridge “that is in an advanced stage of deterioration.”

“It is not unsafe for travel, however, its condition is such that it is more cost effective to completely rebuild the bridge as opposed to making significant repairs,” he said in an e-mail.

The project will also include foundation repairs to and patching a pedestrian bridge that runs from Cambridge Street, over the turnpike, and connects to Lincoln Street.

Construction is expected to begin this fall, though the exact timeline has not been finalized, Verseckes said. The project’s design is complete and state officials expect to advertise the project to contractors within the next few months and for work to begin shortly after.

While work is being done, there will be periodic closures to traffic lanes, sidewalks, the pedestrian bridge and surrounding roads.

For an estimated 18 months of the construction period, Cambridge Street will have just one eastbound traffic lane and two westbound travel lanes open between the project limits, which extend from the intersection of Cambridge Street, Harvard Avenue and Franklin Street to the intersection of Cambridge and Lincoln streets, Verseckes said.

During the remainder of the project, there will be two lanes open in both directions on Cambridge Street.

At least one sidewalk will be open throughout the project’s duration.

For a six-month phase of construction, Linden Street between Cambridge Street and Pratt Street will become a one-way southbound, reversing its current configuration as a one-way street northbound. During that period, northbound traffic on Linden Street will be rerouted to Harvard Avenue.

When portions of the bridge are being demolished, up to two lanes of the turnpike below may be closed, but only on an as-needed basis and only during off-peak hours, which fall around midday and overnight.

Also, the pedestrian bridge will be closed for about six weeks while areas of the deck are repaired. Pedestrians will be directed to the stairs and ramps and the east end of Cambridge Street.

Once complete, the bridge will include a 10-foot-wide sidewalk on one side, nine-foot-wide sidewalk on the other side and six-foot-wide bike lanes abutting each sidewalk, officials said.

Between the bike and traffic lanes will be a three-foot-wide buffer. Each of the four total traffic lanes will be 11 feet wide. A six-foot-wide median will divide the bridge’s travel lanes.

Work will include milling and resurfacing the bridge roadway and in some areas reconstructing the road’s full depth; building new reinforced concrete bridge decks, parapet walls, new bridge railings and medians; installing new pavement markings, traffic control devices, granite curbing, new highway guardrail fencing and lighting; and rebuilding parts of the bridge abutments, piers and bridge expansion joints, he said.

State officials have scheduled a public hearing about the project for Tuesday, June 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Jackson Mann Community Center in Allston.

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(Massachusetts Department of Transportation)

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(Massachusetts Department of Transportation)

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