This project posed unique design and coordination challenges that were overcome with additional forethought and early coordination. From a funding perspective, TEC was required to prepare a cost-effective design that stayed within the original programmed funds, even while cost escalations were rampant. In addition, the proximity of Forge Pond and the large bankfull width presented a challenge when reviewed against the Massachusetts Stream Crossing Standards. A replacement structure in that area that fully met the 1.2 bankfull width standard would have required a significantly larger structure that had extensive environmental impacts in addition to increased property impacts a bridge that would not fit within the surrounding context. TEC was able to prepare an alternatives analysis to show that the proposed, modest structure better fit the needs of the surrounding area and caused less disruption to the natural environment.
Another challenge posed by the project location included the proximity of Westford Academy and access for emergency responders and mutual aid calls. Beaver Brook Road serves as a key connector between Route 119 and Route 225 as well as a primary gateway for bus traffic. Therefore, TEC proposed a structure that could be completed ahead of the road closure utilizing precast concrete construction as well as Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques.
These techniques allowed for the full construction of the bridge within 74 days as opposed to a more typical eight-month closure for a bridge this size. The road was successfully opened on August 18, well in advance of the first day of school which avoided costly bus detours.