North Washington St Bridge

real_EthanHunt

Active Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
147
Reaction score
211
Most of the motor vehicle traffic is simply queuing up at the traffic light at City Sq., for northbound travel and right turn travel into Charlestown, overflowing across the bridge back to Haymarket MBTA station.
yes and no on this. part of the reason the queue is on the bridge is because there is only the 1 lane feeding 4 at the actual signal. making this 2 lanes a longer distance will actually allow for more efficiency at the signal (but agreed, it wont help the queues coming up N Washington and Commercial though the N End).

this is all in response to a lot of comments that were received during the bridge status update meetings. the queue spilling back through Keaney Sq (and blocking crosswalks) is a safety issue for peds and this will hopefully alleviate that a bit.

I noticed that the cones went out yesterday. Nobody seems to be using it north bound as two lanes though. There is no signage saying to use it for north bound traffic
hopefully people will get the hang of it more. that will only happen if its consistently implemented each/most day. hard to do signage for a temporary condition that is a short period of each day.
 

king_vibe

Active Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
358
Reaction score
890
This may honestly be the most thoroughly botched infrastructure project in the city’s history. At least the CAT project was complicated! This is a highway overpass that will end up costing half a billion dollars and taking 12 years to build.
 

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
3,288
Reaction score
3,403
This may honestly be the most thoroughly botched infrastructure project in the city’s history. At least the CAT project was complicated! This is a highway overpass that will end up costing half a billion dollars and taking 12 years to build.
I honestly would have gone with a simple steel truss bridge, done in weathering steel finish. It would have suited well the old industrial context of the neighborhood. I think the chosen design is way too flashy looking.
 

king_vibe

Active Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
358
Reaction score
890
I honestly would have gone with a simple steel truss bridge, done in weathering steel finish. It would have suited well the old industrial context of the neighborhood. I think the chosen design is way too flashy looking.
It's not flashy. It's a tub girder on some piles. Some flashiness would actually help justify the insane cost and timeframe.
 

BeyondRevenue

Active Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Messages
469
Reaction score
921
It's not flashy. It's a tub girder on some piles. Some flashiness would actually help justify the insane cost and timeframe.
I can’t tell if we’re being trolled or not anymore.
Okay, I’ll play along…
Yes. It’s hideous. I can’t stand it. Horrible. Worst bridge ever. My god. Boondoggle.
/sarcasm

this is why we can’t have nice things.
 

king_vibe

Active Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
358
Reaction score
890
It is the very definition of a boondoggle! If this isn't a boondoggle then nothing is.
 

BeyondRevenue

Active Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Messages
469
Reaction score
921
East Berlin called, they want their design brief back.

This isn't a boondoggle.
This is a non-design-build contractor with a handful of suburban-based construction dudes working at a comfortable pace over a very cold body of water brought in to fix some welds that were designed wrong and shipped by an out-of-state low bidder.
Add lawyers.
They are also under close scrutiny by overlapping agencies -- and every shmoe with a keyboard and an axe to grind.
Copious Band-aid fixes give way to crisis panic builds.

For perspective on building stuff, I was watching this last night:
It was about the time in 1941 when we sent 11,000 american soldiers to build a massive highway through the Canadian Rockies so we could move military supplies to Alaska. In 8 months. A good watch.

We used to throw a lot of bodies at things and kept those bodies around to build more things.
Now we build less. We plan things to death to keep expenses and liabilities down -- and that keeps trained bodies away from the job site.
This construction delay is a result of too many MBAs, inflexible planning and a regional trained labor deficit.

We need to relearn how to run our national infrastructure.
 

king_vibe

Active Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
358
Reaction score
890
My complaint is that this is a poorly designed bridge being built badly for way too much money and at a glacial pace and your argument against me is that I'm right?
 

BeyondRevenue

Active Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Messages
469
Reaction score
921
My complaint is that this is a poorly designed bridge being built badly for way too much money and at a glacial pace and your argument against me is that I'm right?
The bridge is nice. A majority here think it's a pretty cool design, but you are unyielding in your passion to lobby a subjective alternative position after the die has literally been cast.
What we agree on are the shortcomings of modern accepted construction management practices and all the players.
Everything can be called a boondoggle now for of all reasons stated above.
 

Highwayguy

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
Messages
121
Reaction score
252
The bridge is nice. A majority here think it's a pretty cool design, but you are unyielding in your passion to lobby a subjective alternative position after the die has literally been cast.
What we agree on are the shortcomings of modern accepted construction management practices and all the players.
Everything can be called a boondoggle now for of all reasons stated above.
My understanding, please correct me if I’m wrong:

- Design called for no pier caps for (very) minor ascetic reasons.

-The above required tricky field welds to meet seismic requirements.

-These welds were found to be impossible to complete within QC requirements.

If that is true, I’d say not including pier caps (or something else to not require these welds) while keeping everything else essentially as proposed was in fact bad design. The whole rationale for having consultants rather than doing design in-house is that they are supposedly better equipped to run through contingencies and realize in the design phase the welds as proposed are impossible. I don’t think anyone is in favor of the engineering ‘correct’ solution of building essentially an I-495 overpass at this location.

I don’t think this qualifies as a ‘boondoggle’ as that implies someone is getting a ‘take’ so to speak; however, it is objectively an embarrassment.
 
Last edited:

bigpicture7

Senior Member
Joined
May 5, 2016
Messages
2,921
Reaction score
4,884
I think this entire discussion thread is vastly over-complicating this:

This was an engineering eff-up, plain and simple, that should not have happened but did. And since it did, the lawyers and insurance people and everyone else needed to get involved, and blew up the whole schedule. This was not a 'boondoggle' nor was it an over-the-top attempt at excessively glamorous design for the city gateway context. This was a basic, vanilla eff-up that we all wish didn't happen. Sometimes life is not a big grand conspiracy.
 

Patrick Winn

Active Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
182
Reaction score
332
I chatted with a few cops and construction workers at the project site yesterday. The welds are fixed. Work on the bridge has recommenced (tho they’re currently working on the inside so hard to see). Should see visible progress really soon.

I never had an issue with the design of the bridge. I think the aesthetic will be a great complement to the Zakim. And I can’t wait for wide-open walking and bike lanes with trees, etc. I’m hopeful at least one side will be open by the summer.
 

Delvin4519

Active Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2022
Messages
107
Reaction score
277
I chatted with a few cops and construction workers at the project site yesterday. The welds are fixed. Work on the bridge has recommenced (tho they’re currently working on the inside so hard to see). Should see visible progress really soon.

I never had an issue with the design of the bridge. I think the aesthetic will be a great complement to the Zakim. And I can’t wait for wide-open walking and bike lanes with trees, etc. I’m hopeful at least one side will be open by the summer.
There was timeline update last October in a public meeting.

The temporary bridge will be in place for the remainder of this year, all of 2023. One side of the new bridge will open next year. The full bridge will open 1 year after that, and is now scheduled to be fully complete with the contract complete by March 2025.

Construction halted back in September 2021, about 11 months prior to the originally scheduled (postponed) Aug. 2022 traffic change to the new bridge. As such, construction will be resuming early 2023 with about a year's worth of work to go to get to the traffic switchover point. This is based on when the tempoary bridge was originally scheduled to be removed and decommissioned from service.
 
Last edited:

C-Town_Jeff

New member
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
40
Reaction score
71
hopefully people will get the hang of it more. that will only happen if its consistently implemented each/most day. hard to do signage for a temporary condition that is a short period of each day.
I haven't seen the cones back all week. Has this been scrapped already?
 

Jahvon09

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
2,698
Reaction score
504
This may honestly be the most thoroughly botched infrastructure project in the city’s history. At least the CAT project was complicated! This is a highway overpass that will end up costing half a billion dollars and taking 12 years to build.
Almost as long as it took to complete the Big Dig. Probably just as discombobulated!! Hah!! :eek::eek:
 

real_EthanHunt

Active Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
147
Reaction score
211
As for the cones, I take the locks most days, so don't know how frequent it's been. But the 2 times I've seen it in use, left lane isn't used much and the opposite traffic (SB Rutherford and Chelsea st) is an absolute mess, including right now.
 

Top