By Seth Daniel
Another phase of painting the Mystic/Tobin Bridge will begin next week on the area of the bridge that elevates over Charlestown.
At a meeting on Monday night in the Police Station, officials from MassDOT and the union contractor, Liberty Maintenance of Youngstown, OH, said they were ready to start the $15.61 million project very soon. Liberty was the same contractor that did major maintenance on the middle portion of the Bridge two years ago.
“Next week we’re going to get going,” said Manny Frangos, president of Liberty. “The work will roughly be performed on the steel that goes from Vine Street to Medford Street. We’ll start putting up the scaffolding and protective coverings first.”
The work includes, first off, performing a variety of structural steel repairs at locations that have been identified by MassDOT. Then, they will begin cleaning and stripping the paint from the Bridge’s steel. A painting crew will follow that up to put on a first coat of paint.
A second coat of the green paint will be applied afterward.
The work is expected to last through September 2018.
Part of the work will also be deleading the paint on the lower level of the Bridge, as it has not been deleaded previously. The upper deck of the Bridge had been deleaded in a previous project.
Frangos and DOT representatives said residents underneath the work should not worry about any dust falling on them.
“All of the work will be completely contained and nothing can escape,” he said.
DOT officials said there is a vacuum right on the work and a system in place to keep dust from escaping to the homes and apartments below the Bridge. That is particularly important in this round of work, as it will all be above residential areas. The last round of rehab work was almost entirely over the water.
The traffic management plan for the work is still being debated.
The upper deck will likely be reduced by one lane in off-peak hours, with the third lane coming back online during rush hours. MassDOT said they are still looking at several concepts for the lower deck traffic plan.