After more than 120 years of service, six Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) bridges along the Framingham/Worcester, Lowell, Haverhill, and Newburyport/Rockport lines needed replacement. The bridges were built in the early 1900s and replacement was necessary to extend their service life and bring them into a state of good repair. This work is part of the MBTA’s $8 billion, 5-year capital investment plan aimed at improving infrastructure, enhancing accessibility, and modernizing systems.
The design-build contracting method was selected for the six bridge replacements to streamline the project duration, promote closer collaboration between engineers, the contractor, and MBTA staff, and encourage innovation to reduce impacts to the traveling public.
Partnered with Barletta Heavy Division as the General Contractor, VHB is serving as the lead designer for the project providing bridge, traffic, highway, track, and utility design as well as environmental permitting, railroad operations, and quality control and assessment. To help keep the communities and commuters informed of construction activities, VHB also developed a robust public engagement process.
These bridges were replaced using the latest in Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques, including the use of precast concrete structural components and self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs). These innovations helped reduce risk, shorten construction, and minimize impacts to abutters and the traveling public.