The tenth anniversary of 9/11 also became the date that the replacement for the old Brightman Street Bridge was dedicated between Fall River and Somerset, Massachusetts. Constructed by Cianbro/Middlesex, the new bridge was the focus of a host of Massachusetts dignitaries who spoke at the dedication ceremonies Sunday, from the local mayors of the two communities, to Congressmen Barney Frank and James McGovern, and finally to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Cianbro Corporation President Andi Vigue attended the event, along with Brightman's long-time Project Manager Kaven Philbrook, Vice President Tom Stone, Regional General Manager Jeffrey Towle, and Project Manager Dave Schill. Middlesex attendees included President Robert Pereira II, Senior Vice President David Skerrett and VP Robert Mabardy. A large group of project team members also joined the audience for the event.
Team members at the project, which has been christened the Veteran's Memorial Bridge, have been busy with final preparations to open the route to westbound traffic this week. The schedule for opening the new bridge has been accelerated to take the burden off the old Brightman Street Bridge, which has been restricted by a three ton load limit instituted by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in recent weeks due to the weakening condition of the old span.
"Everybody is working extremely hard under challenging circumstances to complete this work under the revised schedule," said Schill. "With the old Brightman Street Bridge now unable even to handle pickup trucks safely, the state DOT is eager to see the new bridge open to traffic."
The Cianbro/Middlesex team still has a significant amount of paving, fencing, painting of railings, and miscellaneous clean up work to take care of. Eastbound traffic is scheduled to begin crossing the bridge in early October. The JV will be on site through the end of the year, handling final items such as electrical work that includes closed circuit TV equipment, fire alarms, and elevators. Other tasks still to be completed include installation of an oil/water separator and a diesel generator system. Cianbro team members will also join Massachusetts DOT personnel to help train the new operators of the bascule bridge.
Dave Schill tips his cap to his predecessor in the Project Manager chair, Kaven Philbrook, who has been estimating at the Corporate office in Pittsfield. "Kaven has led the charge," said Dave, "and I'm happy to have been asked to wrap things up here at Brightman while Kaven works to bring home another big bridge project for the company."