Major Work On Tobin Bridge Is Set To Start In 2018

Traffic on the Tobin Bridge going into Boston in February 2015 (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Traffic on the Tobin Bridge going into Boston in February 2015. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Commuters who live in the Route 1 corridor should prepare for delays getting out of Boston over the next three years as the Department of Transportation prepares to embark on a restoration of the Tobin Bridge deck.

The MassDOT Board of Directors on Monday approved a $41.6 million contract for J.F. White to conduct deck repairs, structural steel repairs and painting on a portion of the Tobin. White was the contractor on the last Tobin Bridge deck rehabilitation project, in 2008, according to MassDOT.

The work is expected to be completed in three stages, starting in April 2018.

Phase one is projected to last from April through November 2018, with phases two and three taking place April through November 2019 and 2020, respectively, though MassDOT said the project's expected completion date is June 2020.

The work will be concentrated on the northernmost spans, known as the Chelsea approach spans. The lower deck, which carries northbound lanes, will be repaired while the upper deck will be repaved.

"The majority of this rehabilitation work covers approximately 3,350 linear feet of both northbound and southbound roadways on U.S. 1 along with approximately 400 linear feet of work on the Beacon Street ramp and 2,300 linear feet on the Everett Avenue ramp," said Thomas Donald, MassDOT's director of bridge project management.

On the lower deck, workers will begin by removing the existing concrete fill from the bridge deck, then repair the underlying grid decks, install new deck joints, place new concrete fill into the repaired grid deck and then pave the roadway, Donald said.

When work begins, MassDOT will close one lane of the lower deck during each phase of the project, keeping two northbound lanes open to traffic at all times. One lane of the upper deck will be temporarily closed Sundays through Thursdays, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., to allow crews to pave.

During phase one, expected to take place in 2018, the Beacon Street access ramp will be closed and drivers detoured for one month, and the Everett Avenue access ramp will be closed and drivers detoured for two months.

A detailed project timeline will not be available until the contractor submits its own schedule to MassDOT, Donald said. The contractor has 30 days from being given the notice to proceed from MassDOT to submit a detailed schedule. Donald said MassDOT expects to issue the notice to proceed in about two weeks.


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