By Seth Daniel
A major paving and steel repair project of the Mystic/Tobin Bridge was approved by the MassDOT Board of Directors on Tuesday, a project that concentrates on the Chelsea side of the structure and could cause more than three years of traffic nightmares.
JF White was the low bidder on the project at $41.63 million, and the total project cost approved was $51.56 million, according the DOT materials. The project includes a deck rehabilitation and critical steel repairs to the Chelsea approach of the bridge. JF White performed similar work on the Tobin in 2008 for the Lower Deck near the old Toll Plaza and Big Mystic truss sections (middle of the bridge). This summer, contractors have been painting and making steel repairs over the Charlestown approach to the bridge.
The estimated completion date for the project is June 2020, and the project will be done in three stages. For those that remember the last repairs, it was a three-year process
The approved project will have a boundary of the Chelsea span from the 4th Street exit to the Big Mystic truss in the middle.
The first stage is set to begin on April 1, 2018 and will run to Nov. 30, 2018.
That work will include repaving Rt. 1 southbound right lane (upper deck) and the resurfacing of the dilapidated Everett Avenue ramp. The repaving will require temporary overnight closures from Sundays through Thursdays 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. The Everett Avenue onramp will have a full closure for two months while it is repairs.
On the Lower Deck in Phase 1, there will be deck rehabilitation and repairs on th right lane, a repair of the Beacon Street Ramp, repairs at the Big Mystic Truss and the installation of a dry standpipe system. The Beacon Street ramp repairs will require a full closure for one month.
In Phase 1 on the Lower Deck, the lane closures will include having one lane closed and two lanes open, with the Everett Avenue onramp closed for two months and the Beacon Street ramp closed for one month. On the Upper Deck, there will be three lanes open except during milling and paving operations when one lane will be closed during night time operations. That configuration will continue all three years during the construction.
In the next year, the Phase 2 will begin on April 1, 2019 and continue through Nov. 30, 2019. That work will include repaving the upper deck center lane with overnight closures between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. On the Lower Deck, there will be Deck Rehabilitation in the center lane.
The final phase will take place from April 1, 2020 to Nov. 30, 2020. That will include repaving the Upper Deck left lane with temporary overnight closures, and deck rehabilitation on the Lower Deck in the left lane.