Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez over the weekend reviewed the innovative, money-saving construction methods that will allow the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to replace 14 bridges this summer as part of the I-93 FAST 14 project.
"This kind of innovation is exactly what President Obama means when he asks us to be smarter in the way we do business," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Getting these bridges up and open to traffic quickly saves money and keeps traffic moving."
Building the bridges in sections off-site and installing them during limited 55-hour periods each weekend this summer allows MassDOT to minimize the impact on the traveling public. Mendez toured the project as part of a MassDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Highways for LIFE program demonstration.
"These technologies help keep traffic moving, which lets people spend less time in their cars and have more time doing the things they enjoy," said Mendez.
The bridges will be replaced by using technologies promoted by the FHWA Highways for LIFE program, including accelerated bridge construction, prefabricated bridge elements and the design-build project delivery method, a contracting process that gives the designer/builder more responsibility and innovative flexibility on the project resulting in major time savings. The $98 million FAST 14 project is supported by a $1 million grant from the Highways for LIFE program, $76 million in other federal funds and $21 million in state funds.
The FHWA Highways for LIFE program works with the highway industry to promote innovations that improve safety during and after construction, reduce congestion caused by construction and improve the quality of the highway infrastructure. The program is especially focused on implementing technologies more quickly to help states deliver long-lasting infrastructure with minimized impact to the traveling public.