MBTA Weekend Railroad Bridge Replacement over Parker Street

December 16, 2021 1:00 pm

Karl Eckstrom, P.E., Senior Director – Bridge / Structures Program, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA); Michael Ryan, Senior Bridge Project Manager – MBTA Capital Delivery; Bob Penfield, P.E., DBIA, ENV SP, Managing Director – Highway & Structures, VHB; and Q&A panel members Andrew Burkholder, P.E., NBIS Director of Structures – Massachusetts, VHB; and Bryan Delaney, Project Manager – Barletta Heavy Division, Inc.

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Featured Presentation: MBTA Weekend Railroad Bridge Replacement over Parker Street (35 Minutes)

Description: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is one of the largest public transit systems in the country, serving nearly 200 cities and towns and over 1 million daily riders on the subway, bus, ferry, and commuter rail. In 2021, the MBTA, known to many as the T, along with partners VHB and Barletta Heavy Division, replaced five railroad bridges as part of an $8 billion, 5-year capital investment plan – Building a Better T. The MBTA used the design-build contracting method and ABC techniques for these bridge replacements to encourage innovation and cost reduction, while allowing the design-build team to streamline design and construction time. The bridges typically used precast concrete substructure components and leveraged consistent details to simplify design, fabrication, and construction. The bridges were installed using self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs). This presentation highlights the September 2021 replacement of the 90-year-old steel bridge that carries the Haverhill Line over Parker Street in Lawrence. Included are the design challenges, unique ABC aspects for this site, construction coordination efforts, and planning necessary to replace this in-service bridge during a weekend shutdown impacting railroad operations.



Karl Eckstrom, P.E.
Senior Director – Bridge / Structures Program | Capital Delivery
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Email: KEckstrom@mbta.com



Michael Ryan
Senior Bridge Project Manager | Capital Delivery
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Email: MRyan@mbta.com


Bob Penfield, P.E., DBIA, ENV SP
Managing Director – Highway & Structures
Email: RPenfield@VHB.com


Presentation Photos/Graphics:

1) Parker Street Bridge before any construction activity

2) Parker Street Bridge tieback installation in existing gravity abutment stem with low headroom equipment (February 2021)

3) Parker Street Bridge site after existing superstructure demolition, immediately prior to bridge move with SPMTs

4) Parker Street Bridge site with replacement bridge being positioned with SPMTs

5) Parker Street Bridge superstructure spans being positioned and aligned with SPMTs immediately prior to being set on new abutment beam seats

6) Completed Parker Street Bridge

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