Eight bridges in six weekends
This summer between June 18 and August 9, 2021, MassDOT replaced eight bridges along the Boston/Worcester corridor of I-90. The work included complete replacement of bridge decks and rehabilitation of bridge foundations and abutments along local roads below the bridges.
The work was scheduled to be completed over eight weekends to minimize impacts to travelers and commuters, with an anticipated completion of August 16. The major milestone of bridge replacements was reached ahead of schedule on August 9, 2021, in six weekends. The project has now transitioned to more typical highway work such as replacing medians and guardrails, drainage improvements and paving on I-90. Work on local roads below the bridges includes sidewalks, protective coating of bridges and landscaping and snow fence installation. This work requires single and double lane closures on I-90 and alternating travel lanes on local roads. It will continue through mid-November. Once this work is complete, the contractor will perform punch list items. The final completion will be in mid-December.
This is a major construction project on one of the state's most important roadways, updating a 60+ year-old infrastructure that serves over 100,000 drivers a day. Impacts were minimized by using innovative management, contracting, and construction techniques that allowed us to complete the work in just six weekends, ahead of schedule.
For many of you, Acceler-8 meant driving home over an old bridge on Friday and taking a new one to work on Monday, with no interruption to your commute. For those of you traveling on I-90 on weekends, we carefully scheduled construction to avoid summer holiday traffic and coordinated with regional events, such as Boston and Worcester Red Sox games and TD Garden events, to ensure event attendees knew about the project. For travelers on local roads, we provided updates and on-site signage with advance notice and defining detour routes during replacement weekends. We made sure that you knew exactly when and where to expect detours on local roads and delays on I-90. All in all, Acceler-8 was the smart way to take care of our essential transportation infrastructure and will extend the life of each bridge by 75 years.
How fast was Acceler-8? By comparison, a typical bridge replacement on an interstate highway takes 3 years to complete. All Acceler-8 bridge construction was completed in one summer over six weekends. For most people, the transition from old bridge to new bridge was seamless.
How did we do it? Planning for a project like Acceler-8 didn’t happen overnight. We spent over two years planning and developing the infrastructure that made the goal of eight bridges in eight weekends possible and MassDOT and the contractor were able to accelerate that aggressive schedule to finish early. Acceler-8 uses single-contractor design-build management and accelerated bridge construction (ABC) techniques pioneered on MassDOT’s Fast 14 project a decade ago, and most recently the Commonwealth Ave. bridge replacement project. This is a tried-and-true strategy that works – and that’s why we were confident in our promise: eight bridges in eight weekends. And we beat that goal!
How will I be impacted?
Impacts to I-90
Now that bridge replacements are complete, you can expect nighttime lane closures on I-90 seven nights a week from approximately 7:00 PM each night to 5:00 AM the following morning.
We will do everything we can to minimize impacts, but you should still anticipate significant delays and congestion on I-90.
Impacts to local roads
Now that bridge replacements are complete, alternating single travel lanes will be employed as needed to complete work on local roads, such as sidewalks, bridge structure protective coating, snow fencing and landscaping installation.
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Schedule during bridge replacements
- Weekend of 6/4: I-90 trial implementation of traffic crossovers
- Weekend of 6/18: I-90 over Woodland Road (Westbound)
- Weekend of 6/25: I-90 over Cordaville Road (Westbound)
- Weekend of 7/9: I-90 over Parkerville Road and Flanders Road (Westbound)
- Weekend of 7/16: I-90 (Westbound)*
- Weekend of 7/23: I-90 over Woodland Road (Eastbound)
- Weekend of 7/30: I-90 over Cordaville Road (Eastbound)
- Weekend of 8/6: I-90 over Parkerville Road and Flanders Road (Eastbound)
- Weekend of 8/13: I-90 (Eastbound)*
*Weekend work will not require local road lane closures or a crossover. Various lane closures on I-90 only.
The schedule is subject to change due to weather and other factors. All local road closures will begin at approximately 4pm on Fridays on the applicable weekends. All construction begins Friday 7pm and ends Monday 5am, with the exception of the trial implementation of traffic crossovers which ends Sunday 5am.
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Project email address: A8@dot.state.ma.us
Documents and materials
Boston, MA 02116