GOVERNOR PATRICK BREAKS GROUND ON FORE RIVER BRIDGE, CONNECTING QUINCY AND WEYMOUTH
$244 million replacement project gets under way to replace 10-year-old temporary bridge
Governor Patrick gets the project underway. (Photo: Eric Haynes/ Governor's Office) View additional photos.
WEYMOUTH – Friday, November 9, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today broke ground on the start of construction to replace the Fore River Bridge. The $244 million replacement project is one of five “megaprojects” that is being funded through the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Accelerated Bridge Program. Since the program’s start in 2008, the number of structurally deficient bridges has declined approximately 20 percent.
“Our Accelerated Bridge Program is a key part of our growth strategy of investing in education, innovation and infrastructure to create jobs and spur economic development,” said Governor Patrick. “Investing in transportation infrastructure builds stronger communities for the next generation across the Commonwealth.”
Replacing a temporary bridge constructed in 2002, the new Fore River Bridge will be a vertical-lift bridge with several upgrades. The Fore River channel will be widened to accommodate the vessels that serve the active petroleum terminal, and its vertical clearance in the down position will be higher to reduce the number of openings for sailboats. Additionally, design improvements have been incorporated that will improve the aesthetics of the bridge.
"I am pleased to see that construction will finally begin on the new Fore River Bridge,” Congressman Stephen F. Lynch said. “This project is long overdue and will be a tremendous improvement for neighbors, commuters, and maritime users. While I became involved very late in the process, I do understand the ongoing concerns of the abutting neighborhoods and I will work with Mayors Sue Kay and Tom Koch as well as Representative Ron Mariano to continue to advocate for proper mitigation during the construction process. As an ironworker, I commend Governor Patrick and Secretary Davey for choosing a world-class construction team whose strong record of utilizing local South Shore building trades people will guarantee that the craftsmanship and pride of Weymouth and Quincy workers will become part of this bridge."
“This project is an important link for South Shore drivers, but it is also an important corridor for the industrial shipping uses that need this bridge and this channel just as much,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard Davey. “The finished product will not only meet those needs, but will also have major upgrades to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists as well.”
The new bridge will consist of two, 12-foot wide travel lanes on each side and a five-foot bike lane on both sides; pedestrian sidewalks will be six and a half feet wide on the bridge and expand to nine feet in width on the approaches to the bridge. Presently, there are no cycling accommodations and only one pedestrian walkway on the southerly side of the bridge.
“I want to thank the Governor and the Federal Highway Administration for dedicating resources towards this important project.” said Senator Robert Hedlund. “The new bridge and channel improvements will improve car and boat traffic while reducing openings, and I personally look forward using the new bike lanes.”
“The Fore River Bridge has long served as a vital link between the City of Quincy and the entire South Shore, and its viability is crucial to the continued economic success of the entire region,” said Senator John F. Keenan. “After many years of work, today’s ground breaking marks an important milestone in the bridge’s history, and I look forward to working with MassDOT, state, city and town officials to make sure this replacement project is completed on-time, on-budget and with little interruption to local residents and commuters.”
“I have been working for the past two decades on finding a permanent solution to the Fore River Bridge. I grew up in Quincy Point and saw firsthand the original 1936 bridge deteriorate from a recognizable local landmark to a structure that could no longer stand," said Representative Ronald Mariano. "I look forward to seeing the new bridge, with its elegant and functional design, become a point of pride for South Shore residents once again. I thank the Patrick Administration for this important investment in our community's infrastructure knowing that it will pay dividends years into the future.”
“The new Fore River Bridge is an absolutely vital infrastructure asset for the City of Quincy and the entire South Shore region, and breaking ground on this important project once again shows the unprecedented commitment that Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray have made to transportation needs across the Commonwealth,” said Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch.
The joint venture selected for the project is JF White and Skanska-Koch. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2016.