For Immediate Release - October 15, 2010

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY ANNOUNCES COMMONWEALTH'S FIRST "HEAVY LIFT" BRIDGE

Cutting Edge Technology to Accelerate Infrastructure Improvements and Reduce Construction Related Congestion Statewide

PHILLIPSTON - Friday, October 15, 2010 -As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Works program to promote job growth and long-term economic recovery, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined state and local leaders in Phillipston at the Commonwealth's first "Heavy Lift" Bridge project. The innovative $3.9 million project currently underway will replace the structurally deficient bridge that carries Route 2 over Route 2A (State Road) in Phillipston. The project is funded by the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program.

MassDOT is building the replacement bridge in a temporary location north of the existing bridge and will slide it into place with self-propelled trailers at the end of October.

"This is an innovative project. We are putting people to work fixing a deficient bridge, creating economic value and improving public safety along a busy corridor for years to come," said Governor Deval Patrick. "We are making a real difference with our historic investments in the Commonwealth's infrastructure, here in Phillipston and in communities across the state."

"This bridge project is a demonstration of our commitment to putting people back to work today and improving infrastructure across the Commonwealth for the long term," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "I applaud MassDOT and its contractors for streamlining construction methods and management to complete this and other projects quickly and efficiently."

"It is a great honor to see this venture kick off in my district. I am delighted to congratulate MassDOT on the success of the "Heavy Lift" Bridge project. This progressive approach to replacing deficient bridges in local communities throughout the Commonwealth will prove beneficial to local citizens who rely on the Commonwealth to keep our roads safe and passable," said Senator Stephen M. Brewer.

Building the replacement bridge away from the existing bridge allows Route 2 traffic to flow freely during nearly the entire construction duration, dramatically reducing the negative impacts of construction on road users. Route 2A traffic has also been trouble-free throughout construction.

In order to demolish the bridge and move the new bridge into place, the immediate bridge location will be closed to traffic for a period of approximately 202 consecutive hours at the end of the month. During this time, Route 2 traffic will follow a very short detour around the site via the on and off ramps. Exits 17 and 19 will provide access to final destinations reached via Route 2A.

The construction of the bridge, which broke ground this year, will be complete in November. Restoration of the ramps and project area will continue after the bridge itself is complete.

"The Governor and Lieutenant Governor in identifying as a top priority the repair and replacement of our deficient bridges have at the same time directed us to complete these projects on budget and more quickly than in the past, and the Phillipston Bridge meets those goals," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan. "We are witnessing the beginning of what I know will be a new way of business for us at the DOT."

"The project highlights our focus on innovation to improve customer service," said Highway Administrator Luisa Paiewonsky. "We are improving the durability and safety of our highways while reducing construction-related congestion."

Since the Patrick-Murray Administration filed legislation approved by the Legislature creating the $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program (ABP) in 2008, the number of former MassHighway and DCR structurally deficient bridges has dropped from 543 to 482, a decline of over 11 percent. The ABP Program has completed 28 bridge projects already, with another 61 bridge projects currently in construction, and an additional 69 bridge projects scheduled to start construction within the next year. Over the course of the program, more than 200 bridges are planned to be replaced or repaired.

To see the detour routes for this project visit the Accelerated Bridge Program website at www.mass.gov/acceleratedbridges.

To learn more about Massachusetts Works, visit www.mass.gov/governor/massworks. For additional information on how the Patrick-Murray Administration's agenda has led Massachusetts out of a global recession sooner and stronger than the rest of the nation, visit www.mass.gov/governor/agenda.

###

Follow us on Twitter - View our Photos - Watch our Videos