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MBTA Awards Saugus Drawbridge Replacement Project Design Contract

Posted on May 7, 2018

Today the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) voted to award a nearly $7 million contract to Hardesty & Hanover, LLC to fully design a replacement for the drawbridge over the Saugus River and provide construction phase services.

The project is a full replacement of the existing drawbridge over which Newburyport/Rockport Line trains travel. The existing bridge has been in service for over 100 years and, though some repairs have been made, the condition of the structure is deteriorating. Advancing to final design prevents further costly repairs and possible service interruptions.

The proposed bridge will be 530 feet long, carrying 2 railroad tracks over the Saugus River. The draw span will be a rolling lift "Scherzer-style" bascule span. The approach spans will be through-girder spans with reinforced concrete ballasted decks. Bringing the asset into a state of good repair, the useful life of the replacement structure will be 75 years.

As the new alignment and profile of the replacement bridge will be off-line from the existing drawbridge, there will be minimal impact to Commuter Rail service during the construction period, allowing for construction of the new rolling lift bascule span. The rolling lift-style bascule provides an economical choice for a movable span when construction is unaffected by the existing bridge or rail operations. This type of movable bridge is the preferred type for a small to medium span rail bridge.

It is anticipated that the project will be advertised for construction in the fall of 2020 and that construction will take approximately 3 years.

Download the FMCB presentation

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