Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Busy Boston-Area Bridge Forces MBTA Closure

(Via Newswire)

GLOUCESTER, Mass. — Inspectors discovered problems with Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Annisquam River drawbridge, leading to a lengthy closure yesterday, the Gloucester Times has reported. The closure has raised new questions over long-term repair and replacement plans for the century-old bridge.

A 2010 study labeled the bridge the worst on the MBTA network. Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad spokeswoman Andrea Wheeler said the company closed the bridge for additional inspection after a contract inspector found a structural deficiency. As a result, the Rockport Line was closed through midday, reopening at 3:30 p.m. with a 10 mph speed restriction.

A 2011 study recommended the bridge be replaced rather than repaired, due to “severe deterioration.” A consultant said a replacement would cost around $25 million, and would close the bridge for around seven months. However, the replacement isn’t currently on MBTA’s list of capital projects.

SOURCE: Busy Boston-area bridge forces Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority closure - TRAINS Magazine

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