Originally built in 1951, the John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge is a critical transportation link for people and commerce in the region. The replacement project is intended to bring the Whittier Bridge up to current safety standards and is one of five “mega” projects in the MassDOT Accelerated Bridge Program. The program utilizes innovative construction materials and techniques, including the use of high performance spray applied waterproofing, which offers enhanced long-term protection and rapid return to service. The bridge is also the first in Massachusetts to include an integrated shared-use path on an interstate.
One of MassDOT’s key goals with the Accelerated Bridge Program is to complete projects with minimal disruption to the travelling public and commerce. The design team developed innovative construction sequencing to meet this key goal, and also improved driver safety by moving traffic from the old to new structure quickly. The new bridge also complies with AASHTO’s Geometric Design of Highways and Streets by providing full shoulders and breakdown lanes, as well as four travel lanes on each structure.
The deck was constructed using a series of precast concrete slabs, with high strength concrete placed between each panel. Due to the number of joints between the precast segments, the strength and flexibility of the Bridge Preservation spray applied waterproofing system made it the product of choice for this project. Bridge Deck Membrane offers a combination of high elongation and high tensile strength, allowing it to bridge cracks in concrete, maintaining the integrity of the waterproofing throughout the life of the structure.
Fall 2015 to Fall 2017
Replacement of Whittier Bridge over Merrimack River