With new bridge in place, Morton St. is back in play

At long last, the Morton Street bridge is structurally sound. After years of planning, community outreach, and scheduling to replace the structurally deficient bridge, crews finished work on Monday morning just after midnight – more than 24 hours ahead of schedule. The contractor will receive a bonus for finishing ahead of Monday’s scheduled opening.

“It is not easy to have such a heavily used bridge shut down for any length of time,” state Rep. Dan Cullinane said in a statement. “But closing the bridge and finishing the project in just nine days was a far better alternative than keeping the bridge open with traffic reduced to one lane for three years.”

The new bridge was put into place via the accelerated construction method, which allows crews to assemble major parts of the bridge off site then use heavy machinery to install a nearly finished bridge quickly. The process significantly reduces on-site construction time, minimizing traffic impacts and shortening overall construction time. The same accelerated method was used for the new Red Line bridge over Clayton Street last November and the River Street bridge in Hyde Park in 2012.

“The innovative ‘heavy lift’ accelerated process is once again a proven success in delivering new infrastructure with only a short term disruption for motorists and commuters,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey.

The former police station site adjacent to the bridge that was used for staging during the bridge’s construction will now be planted with grass and returned to the city.

“The residents and businesses in the surrounding community deserve a tremendous amount of credit for making this project a success,” Cullinane said. “Not just for their patience – but for their participation throughout the planning process.”