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Safety improvements and electrical/aesthetic lighting upgrades on Braga Bridge to cost over $8 million more than expected



Photo courtesy of MassDOT

Safety improvements and electrical/lighting upgrades will be taking place soon in the area of the Braga Bridge in Fall River and Somerset, but at a heftier price tag than expected.

According to a recent MassDOT Highway Division meeting, more details were released concerning the project which includes:

•Full Aesthetic Bridge Lighting Installation. Truss Section, inboard and outboard flood lighting. New supporting electrical, control equipment and wiring.
• Full replacement of Highway Lighting Assemblies and anchor/haunch replacement. Barrier handhole repairs.
• Full replacement of existing electrical system and load center. Installation of new load center maintenance access platform with ship ladder and lighting.
• Replacement of Navigation and Aviation Lighting systems, including electrical.
• Installation of a temporary electrical service to support construction.
• Overhead sign MUTCD compliant replacement with supporting haunch and barrier reconstruction.

The purpose and need for the changes are as follows:

• Existing highway lighting installation is past its useful life. Light pole anchorages set in 1986 Deck Replacement Contract. Grouted bases expedite anchorage corrosion and cross section reduction.
• Aviation beacons are only intermittingly functional, despise maintenance troubleshooting.
• Electrical wiring is 35+ years old and nearing end of expected useful life, and barrier hand holes are currently only protected by improvised covers.
• One overhead sign structure has already been removed due to signs of eventual failure. The other sign was also set in the 1986 Deck Replacement Contract.
• Current condition for Load Center access is unsafe and hazardous, this work will rectify this. Internal components show advanced wear and housing have progressive corrosion.
• Navigation lighting is past its useful life.
• Aesthetic lighting was at the request of local government and city officials.

The full construction of the project involves:

• Reconstruction of all light pole haunch anchorages.
• Reconstruction of barriers and haunches supporting overhead signs.
• New complete light standards, remove and dispose of existing.
• Removal and replacement of all existing wiring. Repair and replace all barrier handhole frames and covers.
• Temporary electrical service installation, replacement of existing load center, construction of new access platform.
• Replacement of existing navigation and aviation lighting and associated controls.
• Construction of access platform or other means to safety install new aesthetic lighting fixtures, wiring, control and power boxes underdeck and outboard of truss section.
• Fabrication and installation of aesthetic lighting support arms and bracketry. Fastening to bridge truss members utilizing rivet locations.

While work is taking place, lane closures will take the eastbound and westbound right lane and shoulders. Work will be conducted between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.

The first phase of the project was completed with the addition of some of the aesthetic lights with more coming as part of the second phase.

The engineers estimate for the overall project budget came in at a cost of just over $11.2 million, however, when bids were opened on the project, the lowest bid, plus the cost of contingencies and construction engineering, came in at a total of just under $20 million. Coviello Electric had the lowest and winning bid.

The project is expected to take 3 years to complete.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Fed Up

    May 6, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    What a f*cking scam

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