(Image courtesy MassDOT)
The bridge, which carries the Red Line to Ashmont Station, was constructed in 1911 and is long overdue for replacement.
“The typical life space for a bridge is 70 years,” said Malek Al-Khatib, director of engineering for the Louis Berger Group Inc, the group of designers working with the MBTA. “We are beyond the typical life span [for the bridge].”
Along with replacing the bridge, the MBTA will also lower the roadway to allow for greater clearance, as well as repair the sidewalks and eliminate the current steel beams that narrow the sidewalk under the bridge.
T representatives estimated that the replacement should cost about $10 million and expect to have bids out for contractors by spring 2012. The transit agency expects to begin construction by fall 2012 and have construction completed winter 2013.
The main concern that many residents expressed at the meeting was when the T would close roads and halt train service for the work.
For the first phase of construction, which will construct a temporary utility bridge, the MBTA said it expects minimal roadway closures and no interruption to Red Line service.
While doing work on the abutments and tie backs, the structure that supports the bridge, the MBTA said Clayton Street would be closed during the weekend with round the clock work and no interruption to Red Line service.
The biggest interruptions to Red Line service is expected to be during the three weekends when installing micorpiles. The MBTA said service will be replaced with buses between JFK/UMass and Ashmont Stations.
During the actual replacement of the bridge, Clayton Street and Dickens Street will be closed along with a shut down of the Red Line over the Labor Day weekend.
Clayton Street will again be closed in the final phase of construction when making repairs to the sidewalk and roadway.
The MBTA said they will be before the community again when a contractor has been chosen for the project.