Part two of the massive Comm Ave Bridge Replacement Project is more than halfway done. Scheduled to be completed by Saturday, August 11, 2018, the $110 million replacement of the half-century-old concrete surface and steel beams that support Comm Ave as it passes over the Massachusetts Turnpike has proven to be an engineering marvel. Here are some little-known factoids behind the project:
- The existing bridge went up in 1965 and is considered structurally deficient. The new one is expected to last 75 years.
- To build the westbound side of the bridge this year (the eastbound side was completed summer 2017), MassDOT is using 45 bridge beams. These beams are 391 feet long and weigh 66 tons, or 132,000 pounds. They were staged in Allston’s Beacon Park Yard prior to the start of construction.
- Prep work goes a long way, so 214 precast concrete deck panels, weighing on average 5.3 tons each, or about 10,000 pounds, were made ahead of time off-site.
- Crews are using roughly 680 cubic yards of concrete to seal in these deck panels, and 520 tons or 1 million pounds of hot mix asphalt.
- One crane, situated in Beacon Park Yard, can lift up to 275 tons and has a 180-foot boom.
- There are also two cranes positioned on Commonwealth Avenue, both weigh 600 tons.
- An average of 200 workers are on site at any given time. Crews are working in continuous 24-hour shifts.
- BU Dining Services is serving up 400 sandwiches a day to feed the construction crews. Among the options are peppered eye round of beef with Maui onion and mustard seed jam, and tuna salad with celery and chives on a bagel. Chips, cookies, fruit, and granola bars are also on the menu.
- Once the project wraps up, 200,000 people a day will use various modes of transportation to travel over or under the bridge.