BOSTON (State House News Service) – State transportation officials on Monday approved “aggressive” plans to replace 14 bridge decks on Interstate 93 in Medford, saying they hoped the bulk of the work could be performed on summer weekends and that the project could be completed by Labor Day.
The deteriorated bridge decks were identified last August after holes began to open up on the highway.
The work will require lane closures during construction, and officials described efforts to minimize traffic impacts. Pre-constructed bridge decks will be put in place by cranes during construction hours.
Known as Fast 14, the project involves replacing decks that carry about 200,000 vehicles per day and is expected to cost about $75 million in 2011.
Staff said work would take place over 10 to 12 weekends, a work scheduled they called unprecedented and compared to the four-year timeframe a project of this scale would normally require.
“It is not aggressive for aggressive’s sake,” said state Transportation Secretary Jeff Mullan, head of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. “It will be a signature project for the new DOT.”
The state transportation board voted 4-1 to hire J.F. White for an $84 million contract that includes $7 million in incentive payments for performing work on time. The company was one of two that made qualified bids.
Plans call for the contractor performing the work to be fined if work spills beyond 5 a.m. on Mondays.