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Reconstruction of the Shawsheen River Bridges

Project Highlights:
  • 2135 SF Wood Lagging
  • 2800 SF Grout Mat System
  • 1100 LF 3’ diameter Caissons
  • 1500 CY Cast‐in‐Place Concrete


J.F. White was contracted by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to construct two railroad steel through girder bridges within historic stone arch bridges located on the Shawsheen River. It called for the removal of concrete parapets, and installation of new granite stones in their place.

The two bridges were located approximately 3 miles apart from each other on the active rail. Amtrak, the MBCR Commuter Rail, and PanAm (freight) all ran trains on the railroad track that was located on the bridges where the reconstructions took place. Phase construction was needed to keep one active railroad track on top of the bridge at all times. The project required the installation of drilled shafts, cast‐inplace concrete abutments and backwalls, and cast‐in‐place approach slabs. As part of the project, steel piles were driven to act as temporary support of excavation system and piles were driven to act as a permanent ballast retaining wall. There was a temporary arch shoring structure that was required to be installed.

The project required the restoration of historic granite stone arches at each bridge, and scour countermeasures be installed in the river as well as embankment stabilization for the river bank.

Contract value: $11,187,000.