Transportation Reform: Collaboration Leads to Big Savings
A vivid example of collaboration and cost savings characterized by the 2009 Transportation Reform Law has played out this year in and around the MBTA Blue Line Orient Heights Station. Three transportation agencies managing three different projects worked closely together to save a total of more than $4.1 million while completing the work and limiting disruptions to subway service.
As the MBTA rebuilt Orient Heights Station, MassDOT’s Highway Division replaced a Revere Beach Parkway Bridge over the MBTA and State Road and Massport completed the Logan Greenway Connector project. All three projects required work on or next to the Blue Line right-of-way. Significant portions of that work were “piggybacked” together and completed during several Blue Line weekend service diversions, which were necessary to allow work crews to perform critical infrastructure work on track and signals.
Piggybacking construction work on the three projects during 13 weekends allowed the MBTA to schedule fewer weekend service diversions, each with an estimated cost of $147,899. MassDOT’s bridge project saved a total of an estimated $1,665,495 by piggybacking and completing the work in less time.
“This is truly transportation reform in action as the T, MassDOT, and Massport worked together on three important projects and saved millions of dollars,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “I applaud the planning and coordination that not only saved money but also minimized inconvenience for our customers.”
The projects and work accomplished include the following:
The $27.8 million Orient Heights Station Project will make the station fully accessible to all passengers and modernize the station, including installation of a new overhead pedestrian bridge, four elevators and two escalators, new mechanical and power systems, a renovated Train Operations Building, new platforms, and improvements to the bus access areas. The station will reopen tomorrow, Tuesday, November 26, after being closed since March 2013 for construction. MassDOT Highway’s Revere Beach Parkway Bridge Project work piggybacked with six Blue Line weekend closures, allowing MassDOT to replace the bridge superstructure in two weekends using accelerated bridge construction methods.
Massport’s Logan Greenway Connector Project work piggybacked with seven Blue Line weekend closures to construct a dual use bicycle/pedestrian path in East Boston that will extend Bremen Street park use to Marsh Island.
The Logan Greenway Connector Project also provided the MBTA with a 1700 foot section of new fencing, retaining walls, tree and brush clearing along with removal of the Neptune Road Bridge.