(Image courtesy MassDOT)
The project to replace the Morton Street Bridge could soon get underway.
The replacement had faced a number of delays and was originally scheduled to be completed in June 2012, but has since been pushed back and could be completed as soon as summer 2014, said the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
The project, part of the Commonwealth’s Accelerated Bridge Program, will demolish the existing structure that takes traffic from Route 203 over the Fairmount Line tracks and replace it with a sleeker, smaller bridge.
Currently the DOT is putting the final touches on an agreement with the City of Boston to demolish the old police station at 872 Morton St. The land will be used to construct the new bridge that will eventually be slid into place over the tracks. Work on the building is expected to begin by January 2013 and demolition work is expected to be completed by August 2013, said the DOT.
The DOT estimated that the bridge portion of the project will begin by August 2013 and the overall cost will be close to $9.7 million, which includes the demolition of the building.
Once construction of the new bridge has been completed and the old bridge has been demolished, the new bridge will be slid into place using Self-Propelled Modular Transporters. The work is expected to close the bridge to traffic for 10-days, said the DOT.
Concerns had been raised in the past about how emergency services and residents would cope with the bridge being down, but the DOT said it has been meeting with the Boston Fire Department, Boston Police Department, Emergency Medical Services, and the Boston Transportation Department to develop a plan.
No public meetings have been scheduled as of yet to fill residents in on the details, but the DOT said it expects to organize one once a contractor for the project has been chosen.