Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby mitch3910 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:58 pm

Arlington wrote:
Massachusetts officials say they will seek $110 million to replace a rickety, 92-year-old rail bridge in Haverhill that has forced speed restrictions and delays on Amtrak’s Portland-to-Boston Downeaster, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Haverhill commuter rail line, and freight railroads crossing the Merrimack River.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massac ... ?page=full


It won't do much for the CR trips seeing as Bradford and Haverhill are so close together. What really needs to be replaced is the small bridge on the Bradford side. I'm told that bridge is the cause for the only speed restriction for K-cars in the entire system because of how close the side supports come to the cars. I'd assume the clearance is the same on other coaches. The Merrimack River bridge appears pretty sturdy (and I go over it twice a day).
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby GP40MC1118 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:21 pm

The whole bridge is still in need of work and/or replacement. That's despite
the rehab work done last year.It's still a source of a major speed restriction
for freights. Also if the layover yard ever moves out of Bradford for
Plaistow....

D
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:00 pm

might be a dumb question, but how would they replace it? With such a busy freight and passenger corridor, I am puzzled at how to replace the bridge...
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby Arlington » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:03 pm

mitch3910 wrote:
Arlington wrote:
Massachusetts officials say they will seek $110 million to replace a rickety, 92-year-old rail bridge in Haverhill that has forced speed restrictions and delays on Amtrak’s Portland-to-Boston Downeaster, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Haverhill commuter rail line, and freight railroads crossing the Merrimack River.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massac ... ?page=full


It won't do much for the CR trips seeing as Bradford and Haverhill are so close together. What really needs to be replaced is the small bridge on the Bradford side. I'm told that bridge is the cause for the only speed restriction for K-cars in the entire system because of how close the side supports come to the cars. I'd assume the clearance is the same on other coaches. The Merrimack River bridge appears pretty sturdy (and I go over it twice a day).


Great point, Mitch: Anyone know exactly how much bridge they're proposing to replace? I checked both MBTA and MassDOT websites and didn't find a press release on this. Doesn't $110m seem low(ish) to me for replacing "whole" span in active use (main span and Bradford span), while $110m seems like a lot if it is just the Bradford section. Any insight?
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:47 pm

That $110mil is to study whether a bridge is needed. Another $80mil will determine what type of bridge to use. And studies will conclude with $250mil to decide the best possible method of execution. Following studies, the T will announce if there's enough money to go through with construction.
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby FP10 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:15 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:That $110mil is to study whether a bridge is needed. Another $80mil will determine what type of bridge to use. And studies will conclude with $250mil to decide the best possible method of execution. Following studies, the T will announce if there's enough money to go through with construction.


Knowing the T, it will probably be cheaper if they build the bridge OUT of money. And who can complain, it will be the most transparent construction project ever; people will literally see their tax dollars at work...
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby tom18287 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:49 pm

it's a shame to see the bridge go. it could have been prevented, but lack of maintenance has taken its toll.
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby Arlington » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:17 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:That $110mil is to study whether a bridge is needed. Another $80mil will determine what type of bridge to use. And studies will conclude with $250mil to decide the best possible method of execution. Following studies, the T will announce if there's enough money to go through with construction.

Is this serious? I mean, Maryland's doing prelim engineering on amulti-billion dollar tunnel through Baltimore for only $60m, and I just found this note (http://www.eot.state.ma.us/massdotnewsletter/vol69.htm) that says the new highway bridge over the Merrimack will cost $50m.

So now I'm thinking that the $110m price gets you everything: study, design, build.
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby Finch » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:27 pm

MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote:might be a dumb question, but how would they replace it? With such a busy freight and passenger corridor, I am puzzled at how to replace the bridge...

If you are replacing an entire span wholesale, you might shut down the railroad for a couple-few days, remove the span in one big piece or a few slightly smaller pieces, then bring the new one in and put it in place. This is how Amtrak and its partners chose to do it when they replaced the Thames River lift bridge in New London, CT. However, this is quite a different bridge in Haverhill so I don't claim to know the best way forward. Heck, last I heard I thought they were just going to repair/rehab the bridge.
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:35 pm

Finch wrote:
MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote:might be a dumb question, but how would they replace it? With such a busy freight and passenger corridor, I am puzzled at how to replace the bridge...

If you are replacing an entire span wholesale, you might shut down the railroad for a couple-few days, remove the span in one big piece or a few slightly smaller pieces, then bring the new one in and put it in place. This is how Amtrak and its partners chose to do it when they replaced the Thames River lift bridge in New London, CT. However, this is quite a different bridge in Haverhill so I don't claim to know the best way forward. Heck, last I heard I thought they were just going to repair/rehab the bridge.


Thats what I was thinking, do what Amtrak did for the Thames bridge, this bridge just seems a bit more complicated to replace, but I'm sure it could be done. Amtrak closed the shoreline for 4 days, correct?
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby Finch » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:15 pm

MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote:
Finch wrote:
MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote:might be a dumb question, but how would they replace it? With such a busy freight and passenger corridor, I am puzzled at how to replace the bridge...

If you are replacing an entire span wholesale, you might shut down the railroad for a couple-few days, remove the span in one big piece or a few slightly smaller pieces, then bring the new one in and put it in place. This is how Amtrak and its partners chose to do it when they replaced the Thames River lift bridge in New London, CT. However, this is quite a different bridge in Haverhill so I don't claim to know the best way forward. Heck, last I heard I thought they were just going to repair/rehab the bridge.


Thats what I was thinking, do what Amtrak did for the Thames bridge, this bridge just seems a bit more complicated to replace, but I'm sure it could be done. Amtrak closed the shoreline for 4 days, correct?

Correct, 4 days. Why do you think this one would be more complicated? Maybe if they replace all the approach spans too. But remember, the Thames bridge was a lift bridge. That means both the old bascule span and the new vertical lift span featured such complications as wire ropes, machinery, safety/signals interlocks, commercial and military marine traffic, and a 4 million pound counterweight. :)
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby sery2831 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:17 am

The difference between the Amtrak Corridor outage and this is more the fact it is a Freight Main Line. There really is no detour for freights in this case, where the freight on Corridor is not heavy and could be detoured. I am not saying an outage couldn't be planned and pulled off. It is just not as simple.
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby Finch » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:39 pm

sery2831 wrote:The difference between the Amtrak Corridor outage and this is more the fact it is a Freight Main Line. There really is no detour for freights in this case, where the freight on Corridor is not heavy and could be detoured. I am not saying an outage couldn't be planned and pulled off. It is just not as simple.

Good point about it being a freight main, I was only thinking about technical obstacles. The Thames does get a couple P&W trains each day (or it did a couple years ago when I was down there), but that's not quite the same.
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby Teamdriver » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:26 am

News article on bridge :

Impact of replacing city train bridge on commuters unknown

(eagletribune.com )

http://www.eagletribune.com/latestnews/ ... rs-unknown
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby mitch3910 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:32 am

The news posting on mbta.com for this project is using a pretty cool photo. OLD paint scheme with an RDC behind the locomotive. :P

http://mbta.com/about_the_mbta/news_eve ... nth=&year=
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