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Gloucester Drawbridge Replacement March 2021 Progress Recap

Updated on April 6, 2021

A photo of two large cement shafts in the river with a temporary walkway between them for construction. These will support the bridge above the water
Drilled shafts for Pier 1 (March 2021)

The MBTA is pleased to provide you with this update of project activities completed in March 2021 and ongoing or upcoming work for April 2021. 

East Abutment

The reinforced concrete walkways that are to run along the north and south sides of the abutment were formed and poured. Once railings are anchored in the walkways, they will be complete. 

A long rectangular framework made up of of thick textured steel bars
Reinforcing the abutment walkway (March 2021)
A construction worker in high-vis clothing smooths wet concrete into a wooden-frame form on a foggy day
Abutment walkway (March 2021)


Control Tower

In the control tower, installation of new conduit and wiring of critical electrical, signal, and system controls equipment continues. Once completed, the new control tower will operate the bridge. 

A bundle of steel pipes wrap from the wall to ceiling and back down on the other side
New conduit inside the control tower (March 2021)

Pier 1

Both of the drilled shafts that support the pier have been installed. These shafts were drilled down through the soil strata into bedrock, where they were embedded into approximately 20 feet of rock. Both drilled shafts ended up being a little over 90 feet long. After drilling, the reinforcing cages were installed and both shafts were filled with concrete.

A construction worker in high-vis clothing looks very small next to a giant piece of drilling machinery labeled
Drilling of Pier 1 shaft (March 2021)
Two construction workers in high-vis clothing and life jackets guide a large wire form cylinder into a hollow cement shaft
Installation of drilled shaft reinforcing cage (March 2021)


Pier 2

Work has progressed on Pier 2, which will hold the trunnion tower and the machinery for the new moveable bascule span. The lower portion of the south fascia wall has been constructed. 

A wooden frame and multiple tarps are pictured where a wall is being constructed. This wall is underneath the bridge and at water-level
Construction of Pier 2 south fascia wall (March 2021)

West Causeway

The installation of a steel sheeting wall along the south side of the west causeway continues. This wall will support the relocated southern track. 

Three construction workers in high-vis vests are guiding a piece of metal as it's lowered by another worker inside construction machinery
West causeway wall construction (March 2021)
Two yellow excavators working on a pile of gravel on the river shoreline
West causeway wall installation (March 2021)


Coming in April 2021

  • Installation of the new fender system for the navigational channel.
  • Construction of the east approach spans, including installation of precast concrete box beams.
  • Work on the west abutment will begin, including modifications to the abutment to accommodate the new bridge superstructure.

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