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MassDOT Approves Contract for I-91 Viaduct Rehabilitation

SPRINGFIELD — The Mass. Department of Transportation has awarded a contract for the rehabilitation of the I-91 viaduct structure in Springfield to the joint venture JF White-Schiavone.

The bid price submitted by the joint venture was $148,000,150, making JF White-Schiavone the lowest responsible bidder for the project. There were three bids in total. The total project cost — which, in addition to the bid price, includes railroad flaggers, traffic details, protections against cost overruns, and an incentive clause for the contractor to expedite the work — is approximately $183,325,172.

The approval of the contract allows for the replacement and rehabilitation of the concrete deck, repair and replacement of the supporting steel, and major improvements to drainage and lighting. First built in the 1960s, the viaduct has experienced significant deterioration and requires frequent emergency repairs, which exacerbates traffic congestion. While a long-term solution will be determined through a corridor-planning study currently under development, this contract guarantees lower maintenance costs and a reduction in the need for emergency repairs for the next 30 years.

“The I-91 project will not only address immediate regional transportation needs for the Greater Springfield community, but will also ensure reduced maintenance costs and longer serviceability over the next three decades,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.

Work on the project is anticipated to begin in early summer of this year and last through late February 2019, a duration of approximately three and a half years. Accelerated bridge-construction techniques will be used to reduce the number of traffic impacts and minimize disruptions to traffic flow caused by construction.

The contract also provides for an incentive of $50,000 per day for each day the contractor completes the work early, up to 180 days, meaning the contractor would be eligible to receive a total of $9 million as a maximum bonus. Likewise, the contract has a disincentive clause that penalizes the contractor $50,000 for each day the work continues on past the expected point where drivers should be expected to have full use of the corridor.

For the duration of the work, two travel lanes will be maintained in both directions; the on- and off-ramps within the project limits will be closed for the length of the project. Traffic seeking to access downtown streets will be diverted off I-91 before and after the project limits.

“Today is a major milestone for the Springfield region, and I’m looking forward to getting this project under way,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Thomas Tinlin. “For too long, the viaduct has required frequent — and untimely — emergency repairs. Recognizing the impact those repairs have on the regional economy and on mobility through the corridor, the contractor’s methods and our contractual incentive shows that we understand the urgency with which this needs to get done.”

The total cost for the project is being funded with 80% federal highway funding and 20% state funding.

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