Drawbridge work update
The sight of orange barrels along both sides of the Lagoon Pond drawbridge signals motorists that construction work is underway on the temporary replacement bridge under construction alongside the existing bridge.
Most of the work going on now is utility relocation, according to a spokesman from the Massachusetts Highway Department (MassHighway). Motorists can expect slow-downs when traffic over the bridge is reduced to one lane at times.
Workers recently constructed a sheet steel pile retaining wall for road widening. Restrictions from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prohibit construction in the water between Jan.15 and May 30, to protect winter flounder.
Although lane closures may be necessary during the off-season, during some phases of construction, the MassHighway spokesman said there will be no lane closures from Memorial Day through the fourth week in September.
About five years ago, MassHighway announced plans to replace the aging and sporadically unreliable Lagoon Pond bridge by first building a temporary bridge beside the existing bridge, then demolishing the old bridge and replacing it with a permanent drawbridge.
MassHighway awarded the temporary bridge construction contract to Pihl, a construction contracting firm in Quincy that specializes in civil engineering projects. Pihl's bid was lowest for the temporary bridge project, at about $9 million. Work began last fall on the temporary bridge, which is slated for completion on May 28, 2010.
Parsons Engineering will design the permanent drawbridge and has been working on studies regarding the optimum channel height and location, as well as design options, which will be discussed in public meetings at a later date. MassHighway projects that the permanent bridge will be completed in 2013 at an estimated cost of $31.5 million.