Project Detail

Brightman Street Bridge

Fall River & Somerset, MA

Largest MassDOT project in the state – more than $300 million dollars from start to finish. The new bridge has one of the largest bascules on the East Coast. Boasting a 300-foot trunnion to trunnion length with 4 leafs, and a clear 200-foot wide shipping channel, the bridge allows for large ships to pass.

Scope of Work

The Cianbro/Middlesex Joint Venture Team constructed a new twin double-leaf bascule bridge which spans over 1,000 feet and has 60 feet of clearance over the Taunton River. The bridge's clearance allows marine traffic to pass underneath the bascule while in the down position in a 200-foot wide shipping channel. Construction included the approach and bascule span piers and superstructure, the control house, abutments and retaining walls, and installation of the electrical and mechanical equipment required for the operation and control of the movable bridge. All marine traffic within the active shipping channel was continuously maintained in accordance with the United States Coast Guard regulations.

Project Details

  • Installed erosion, siltation, and dust control devices
  • Performed structural and cofferdam excavation
  • Constructed and placed reinforced concrete piers and abutments
  • Constructed retaining walls along Route 70 and other roadways
  • Placed reinforced concrete bridge decks, bridge railings, and joints
  • Constructed portions of the superstructure over roadways
  • Erected a twin double-leaf bascule span with a trunnion to trunnion 300-foot span
  • Erected steel tub girders for the east and west approaches
  • Built a control house for the bascule span
  • Installed electrical and mechanical equipment, which included drive motors, brakes, span locks, warning gates, and lights, as well as heating/ventilation systems and associated plumbing
  • Managed vehicle traffic on Route 70
  • Constructed roadways, ramps, walkways, signs, traffic signals, street lighting, pavement markings, and finished landscaping
  • In-water barge work including dredging within the river

Lean, Innovative, and Unique Project Solutions

As the final contract to complete the Brightman Street Bridge Projects, portions of the substructure were already completed, forcing the approach superstructure steel, bascule span steel, mechanical equipment submittals, and approvals to be on a tightly-scheduled critical path. Coordination between all stakeholders had to be executed efficiently as the scope included traffic control on roadways and waterways, major excavation on land and dredging within the river, in-water/barge work, and electrical and mechanical installation.


ABC National Excellence in Construction Award
ABC Massachusetts Excellence in Construction Award
ENR New England Best Project