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On the Trans Blog
Weymouth Route 53 Improvements Underway

Work is underway along Route 53 in Weymouth at the intersection of Middle Street and Winter Street. The MassDOT $2.3 million federally-funded project will reconstruct two Route 53 Middle Street intersections, at Washington St and Winter St.

For the latest information on the project and any traffic impacts, visit the Weymouth Route 53 web page.

View the complete Route 53 blog post.

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

View the complete Hazardous Materials Routing blog post.

The Road to Reform

MassDOT Success: All 14 "93Fast 14" Bridges Erected

MassDOT's "93Fast14" project achieved an historic success this past weekend as work crews erected the final of 14 prefabricated bridge superstructures on I-93 in Medford. The 14 deteriorated bridges that carry Interstate 93 over seven local roads in Medford have been replaced at a rate of at least one bridge per weekend this summer. In every case, the work was completed and all roads reopened several hours ahead of schedule, well in advance of the Monday morning commute.

Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez called the 93Fast14 project the most ambitious bridge project in the country. The project under normal circumstances would require at least 4 years of construction and lane closures. MassDOT used cutting-edge techniques to safely complete the project much more quickly, including:

  • Design/Build: one joint venture team (J.F. White/Kiewit) is responsible for both design and construction.
  • Pre-fabricated bridge element system (PBES): a total of 252 prefabricated panels made of two steel I-beams with a concrete deck replace the old superstructures. They are prefabricated in a controlled, factory setting which results in high-quality concrete. Once at the construction site, they are lifted into place using cranes.
  • Special "closure pour" concrete mix: This project uses a special rapid-set concrete for the "closure pours" — areas of poured concrete which connect the prefabricated panels.
  • "Zipper Lane" crossover: provides a safe work zone for drivers and workers and allows for the bridge demolition and replacement to occur in just 55 hours (or less).

Completing the final superstructure erection this weekend is a major milestone for the project team, but work will continue. During the last two weekends of August, MassDOT will perform weekend work requiring lane restrictions. Construction activities will also continue to occur during off-peak hours during weekdays and weekends after August.

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 on the project,
visit the 93Fast 14 Project website.

MassDOT Goal: "Greenest State for Transportation"

"We want to be the greenest state for transportation," says MassDOT Deputy Director of Planning Clinton Bench in the UMass Amherst Magazine for Summer 2011.

Bench is one of several transportation experts and UMass Amherst alumni featured in the article about the UMass Amherst Transportation Center entitled, "Keep On Moving On." The Center works with faculty, students, and transportation stakeholders on current and future issues surrounding the movement of people and goods across the Commonwealth and the nation.

Bench focuses on the importance of strategic planning and community involvement in the process of making transportation investments, along with MassDOT's "GreenDOT" priority of healthy and sustainable options.

"We want to make transit improvements that will encourage people away from automobiles to mass transit," says Bench. "We want to move transporting goods from truck to rail, and we want to be green in how we do business in the department."

Check out the entire article on transportation in the UMass Amherst magazine on the web at

RMV Customer Service: Springfield Expanded Branch Hours

As part of MassDOT's focus on customer service, the Registry of Motor Vehicles has added expanded service hours at the Springfield branch this week, the latest of several of its busiest branch locations to schedule expanded hours. The Springfield branch is open Monday- Wednesday and Friday from 8am to 5pm, and on Thursdays from 8am-6pm.

The RMV is also opening earlier in Lawrence, Worcester, Milford, Brockton and Taunton. These branches now offer license and registration service starting at 8 AM Monday through Friday. The hours for each specific location are:

Lawrence, Worcester, and Brockton - 8 AM to 5 PM Monday-Wednesday and Friday; 8 AM to 6 PM on Thursdays. Road tests are offered from 9 AM to 5 PM. Suspension hearings offered between 9 AM to 5 PM Monday-Wednesday and Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM on Thursdays in Brockton and Lawrence, and 9 AM to 5 PM on Thursdays in Worcester.

Milford - 8 AM to 5 PM Monday-Friday. Road tests are offered between 9 AM and 5 PM. Taunton-8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday-Friday. Road tests are offered from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Expanded hours will be introduced in Boston and Watertown in the coming months. The expanded hours provide an earlier service option to customers, and will reduce wait times throughout the course of the day. While some transactions must be done by visiting a branch, MassDOT RMV reminds customers that most services are available at RMV's busiest branch - online.

MassDOT September Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, September 7, 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.