CME designed the replacement of this structurally deficient bridge by expanding the width of the structure and its approaches to improve traffic safety in a corridor scheduled for future widening. The structure spans the Taunton River, protected under the Wild and Scenic River Act. As a result, the design solutions for construction needed to pose minimal impacts to the environment.
The design team used Accelerated Bridge Construction techniques and other methods to quickly deliver the project with minimal environmental impacts and enhance the natural beauty of the area.
CME performed a feasibility study to determine the viability for the replacement of the superstructure using accelerated bridge construction (ABC) techniques. The project proved to be an ideal fit. Design plans showed replacement of the superstructure using prefabricated bridge units (PBUs) and rehabilitation of the piers by replacing pier caps with precast cap girders. This allowed for accommodation of the widening while maintaining the existing foundations within the waterway, avoiding unneeded impacts to the river. At the abutments, widening was performed in addition to installation of precast wingwalls supported on vertical H-piles. This superstructure, consisting of PBUs, has precast semi-integral abutments and was made continuous for live load to minimize roadway joints and future maintenance. To minimize the girder depth at the abutment, the steel girders were tapered from the piers to the abutments. Plans showed the project built over three phases while maintaining two lanes of traffic in each direction throughout construction.
The team worked with MassDOT environmental staff to identify constraints at the site using MassDOT’s 25% Environmental Review process. This project included significant review due to its designation by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a Wild and Scenic Rivers and fell under U.S. Coast Guard jurisdiction. CME conducted wetland delineations under State and Federal guidelines and developed permit application materials including a wetlands functions and values assessment. CME prepared a project alternative analysis, evaluated stormwater management options, investigated floodplains and hydraulic openings, and developed plans for erosion and sedimentation control, water handling, demolition debris protection and slope stabilization.