The Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Board of Directors gave approval Feb. 12 to award a contract for about $20 million to replace the highway bridge that carries vehicles on Route 44 over Route 24 in the southeastern town of Raynham.
"We have appreciated the input from key stakeholders and members of the public throughout the design process and look forward to replacing this bridge and helping ensure reliable travel throughout this corridor," said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. "We know many travelers utilize this area and this project will provide a new bridge, improved roadways and intersections, and better accommodations for those who are walking and bicycling through this area."
MassDOT said the project includes replacing the existing structurally deficient bridge, replacing the on-ramp that carries traffic from Route 24 south to Route 44 east, adding new traffic signals, reconstructing a section of Route 44, and providing new pedestrian and bicycle accommodations such as bicycle lanes, sidewalks and crosswalks.
Crews will also utilize a "partial bridge slide," in which workers build a section of the new to the side of the existing bridge and then slide it laterally into place. This construction method, the agency said, ensures that traffic can continue to flow across the old bridge while crews are constructing the new structure.
The crews will slide the new bridge will take place over one weekend night in 2019 and will require roadway closures and detours of traffic, MassDOT said.
The new bridge will also be wider than the one there now and will accommodate two travel lanes plus an auxiliary lane in each direction. Shoulder and bicycle lines will be added in each direction, MassDOT said, along with sidewalks and a median to improve vehicle and pedestrian safety.
The department released an animation (below) that shows each stage of the project.
MassDOT said it expects the project to be completed by the summer of 2021. The new structure will be built in multiple stages in order to minimize impacts, the announcement said.
Throughout the work, it said, "two lanes in each direction will be maintained on Routes 44 and 24 except during off-peak hours. Lane closures will be limited to overnight off-peak hours and roadway closures of Route 24 that are necessary for certain bridge replacement activities will be limited to weekend overnight hours."
Here is that soundless animation video.
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