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On the Trans Blog
Medford I-93 Bridges: July 29 -August 1 Construction

MassDOT's Medford I-93 "93Fast14" project is successfully well past the halfway point. Over the the past seven weekends, MassDOT has demolished and replaced 10 of the 14 bridges that are a part of the project. Each weekend, bridge work has been completed early and all roads reopened to traffic hours ahead of schedule.

Work crews will continue the rapid bridge superstructure replacements on I-93 in Medford this weekend beginning tonight, Friday, July 29th at 7:45 PM and continuing through Monday, August 1st at 5:00 AM. This weekend’s locations involve the bridge on I-93 South over Webster Street and the back spans on the bridge on I-93 South over the Mystic River.

Throughout the course of the weekend, traffic on I-93 will be limited to two lanes in each direction over a 6-mile segment between Exit 28 (Sullivan Square) in Somerville and Exit 36 (Montvale Avenue) in Stoneham. Traffic on I-93 South will be directed through a median crossover near Spot Pond at the Stoneham/Medford line and then travel in counter-flow operation on the northbound barrel of the highway before traveling through a second median crossover near the Medford/Somerville line. I-93 directional traffic will be separated by a moveable "zipper lane" barrier. Access to and from many of the ramps on I-93 South in this area will be restricted.

The $98.1 million project to replace these fourteen bridge superstructures in Medford is funded through the Patrick-Murray Administration’s historic Accelerated Bridge Program, a $3 billion recovery effort to reduce the Commonwealth’s backlog of structurally-deficient bridges.

For more information or to sign up to receive future updates and schedule information, visit the 93Fast 14 Project website.

The Road to Reform

Tunnel Safety Update: Redundant Supports Installation Complete

As of Monday, MassDOT crews as a safety measure completed installation of redundant support straps on all of the approximately 25,000 fixtures in the Central Artery tunnels. This system was developed as an interim, 3-5 year solution to the light corrosion issues while engineers evaluate options for a long-term solution.

On July 14, a MassDOT engineer observed a light fixture out of alignment with the clips on the right side of the light not secured. The fixture was removed immediately and on July 15 re-installed with all new stainless steel clips. In addition, two high-strength straps were installed as a redundant support measure.

MassDOT crews had already begun the process of installing the redundant support straps on all of the approximately 25,000 tunnel light fixtures at the time of the July 14 discovery

Following the July 14 discovery, Secretary Mullan ordered an acceleration of the installation of the redundant support fix for all fixtures. The intensified installation effort added outside contractors to the in house crews already working on this issue.

The Secretary had committed to completion of the redundant system installation by early August. To achieve this aggressive schedule, MassDOT mobilized additional lifts and electricians. While the crews worked throughout the tunnel system, an early emphasis was placed on the ramps and entry portal areas

We thank commuters for their patience during the lane restrictions in non-peak traffic hours to support this work. The MassDOT Tunnel Safety page on the web provides the latest information about ongoing steps to ensure the tunnel system remains safe.

Public Hearings: Proposed Hazardous Material Route

Public Hearings will be held by MassDOT, as the state routing agency, to discuss the I-93/I-95 Non-Radioactive Hazardous Material through routing designation proposed by the City of Boston. The four hearings are scheduled as follows:

  • Boston - Tuesday, August 23, 6:30-8:30pm, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, 2nd Floor
  • Quincy - Wednesday, August 24, 6:30-8:30pm, Thomas Crane Public Library, 40 Washington Street
  • Waltham - Tuesday, August 30, 6:30-8:30pm, Clark Government Center, Main Auditorium, 119 School Street
  • Stoneham - Thursday, September 1, 6:30-8:30pm, Stoneham Town Hall Auditorium, 35 Central Street

The purpose of these hearings is to provide the public with the opportunity to provide testimony and comments regarding the City of Boston’s routing analysis and proposed Non-Radioactive Hazardous Material through routing designation along I-93/I-95. All views and comments made at the hearing will be reviewed and considered to the maximum extent possible. MassDOT and City of Boston representatives will be present to discuss the proposed route and answer questions.

Additional information, including the City of Boston routing evaluation, is available on the MassDOT website. Under the proposed routing designation, the City of Boston would prohibit the use of City streets for the "through" transportation of Non-Radioactive Hazardous Material where there is neither a point of origin nor destination within the City of Boston. The proposal would designate I-93/I-95 as the prescribed through route over which such Non-Radioactive Hazardous Material approaching the City of Boston is to be transported. Within Boston, only shipments to destinations/points of origin located within the City would be permissible, provided the motor carrier applies for and receives a permit from the City.

Written views received by MassDOT subsequent to the date of this notice and up to five (5) days prior to a respective hearing date shall be displayed for public inspection and copying at the applicable hearings listed above. Written statements and other exhibits in place of, or in addition to, oral statements made at the Public Hearings regarding the proposed undertaking are to be submitted to:

Thomas F. Broderick, P.E.
Acting Chief Engineer, MassDOT
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160

Such submissions will also be accepted at the public hearings. Mailed statements and exhibits intended for inclusion in the public hearing and comment record must be postmarked within ten (10) business days of September 23, 2011. All comments may also be emailed to

Transportation Reform: "On Track for Success"

MassDOT, MBTA, and Boston were pleased to host the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) 2011 Rail Conference in June. Following the conference, APTA's online news source Passenger Transport posted an article Transportation Reform in Massachusetts: On Track for Success.

The article by Senior Managing Editor Susan R. Paisner highlighted remarks at the Rail Conference by MassDOT Secretary Mullan and MBTA General Manager and Rail and Transit Administrator Rich Davey.

"To deliver more and better service for our customers- that's what MassDOT is all about," Secretary Mullan told those gathered at the Conference.

Davey said the MBTA is focused on "safety, customer service, our people, fiscal responsibility, and innovation."

Read the Passenger Transport news article.

To learn more about the American Public Transportation Association, visit the APTA website.

MBTA: New Locomotives, New Look

The MBTA has unveiled the new look for the new generation of Commuter Rail locomotives. Nearly 14,000 people responded to three design choices in a two-week online survey. The design chosen above got 50% of the vote. The chosen design has the largest T logo on the side- three times the size of the current logo.

You'll begin seeing the new locomotives with the new look in the winter of 2012-2013, when the first of 20 new locomotives purchased are delivered from the manufacturer, Motive Power Inc. of Boise.

The $114 million investment represents the MBTA’s first major locomotive procurement in more than 20 years.

MassDOT August Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, August 10, 1:00pm, MBTA Board Room, Suite 3910, State Transportation Building, Boston.

The MBTA Board will meet first at 1pm, followed by the MassDOT Board. All meetings are open to the public.

The meeting schedule is available on the MassDOT website.