BOSTON – Working closely with the City of Westfield and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Highway Division, STV, a leading engineering firm, has developed a brand-new gateway with its design for the Great River Bridge, a camelback truss bridge that first opened in 1939.
As the primary north-south artery over the Westfield River, the Great River Bridge has been the site of traffic congestion on State Route 10/U.S. Route 202 for years. To address these issues, the City of Westfield, with state and federal assistance, proposed an entire program of improvements for the corridor, including rehabilitations for the existing bridge, construction of a brand-new "sister" bridge, new park space and other infrastructure improvements.
STV provided planning, structural and civil engineering, and construction engineering support services to the City of Westfield and MassDOT for the existing bridge, the sister bridge, a 280-foot CSX Transportation rail viaduct, 5,000 feet of urban roadway reconstruction and new public riverfront parks and associated parking facilities.
"We worked on nearly every facet on this program, which not only improves roadway congestion, but also creates a better atmosphere in the community," said Mark Pelletier, P.E., STV vice president and Boston office manager.
To rehabilitate the existing bridge, STV developed a design that strengthened its truss members, including repairing the stone masonry and concrete abutments; adding new seismic bearings; and replacing approach spans, the concrete deck, existing sidewalks and bridge joints, and lighting.
A key factor in the sister bridge design was access to the new riverfront parks being developed as part of the program. STV developed a number of alternatives for the client, and ultimately designed a 400-foot replacement with three traffic lanes, a breakdown lane and a sidewalk on each side.
"Because the project involved providing technical support for the construction or reconstruction of three bridges in a historic area, it was a very challenging initiative that we were proud to support," said J. Mark Ennis, P.E., PMP, project manager and senior structural engineer.