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Route 16 bridge project nearly finished in Wellesley

Posted by Sarah Thomas  July 9, 2010 08:43 AM

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After a few remaining tasks, reconstruction of the bridge at the intersection of Routes 9 and 16 in Wellesley will be complete. And only five years behind schedule.

Structural work was completed earlier this month, and state transportation officials said they hope to be done landscaping and installing video cameras by August.

"The contractor is awaiting delivery of the video detection equipment,’’ said Adam Hurtubise, spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. "We expect that this work will be completed at some point within the next 30 days."

Construction on the bridge began in 2003, with an original completion date slated for 2005. The project was beset with delays, as contractors went out of business, power lines were relocated, historical stonework was preserved, and residents and commuters seethed.

But state transportation officials have learned a lot from the experience, Hurtubise said.

"One of the most significant lessons learned was the impact that complex utility relocations can have on the project," Hurtubise said. "MassDOT now has in place a pre-qualification system in which contractors must demonstrate that they are able to complete projects before they can bid on those projects."

Hurtubise said that drivers can expect intermittent lane closures as video equipment is installed, but that the bridge itself should remain open for traffic as the project wraps up.

"We are extremely grateful for the patience shown by the community, by local officials and by the many drivers who use the bridge," Hurtubise said.

Sarah Thomas can be reached at wellesley@boston.com.

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