MassDot Awards $71.6 Million Contract For Allston Multimodal Project
In full transparency, the following is a press release from MassDOT submitted to SOURCE media.
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing the MassDOT Board of Directors has approved a contract with J. F. White for approximately $71.6 million for the Allston Viaduct Bridge Repairs and Related Work.
The primary purpose of the project is to preserve the existing bridge structures to maintain safety for the MBTA Commuter Rail operations and for travel on I-90 while MassDOT completes the design and environmental process for the larger, Allston Multimodal Project.
The scope of work in this contract is to preserve the existing viaduct structure to prioritize repairs to the elements necessary so the viaduct’s use can continue for an additional 10-15 years.
“Safety is one of MassDOT’s core fundamental objectives,” said Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO Gina Fiandaca. “This contract is a precursor to the larger Allston I-90 Multimodal Project and that the ‘modified-at-grade’ alternative was recently selected as the preferred alternative. MassDOT understands that novel and alterative construction staging concepts provided to the Highway Division could reduce the schedule and cost and allow earlier removal of the Allston Viaduct.”
Massachusetts Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver added, “The contract approved by the MassDOT Board of Directors for the existing I-90 viaduct maintenance needs, is independent from construction work which will be required for the multimodal project. The repairs to strengthen and repair the existing viaduct structure will help in providing safe and reliable transportation infrastructure to the users of I-90 until the larger multimodal project is constructed. It will also aid in assuring to the future contracting team for the multimodal project that the existing structure is able to withstand additional service loads that may be placed upon it during the initial phases of construction prior to demolition in order to facilitate construction of the permanent I-90 roadway.”
Recognizing there is uncertainty in the timing for constructing the Allston Multimodal Project due to regulatory permitting, and funding constraints it is not clear what the potential start date may be for the full-build Allston Multimodal Project.
MassDOT is targeting a September 2025 start date for soliciting Design Build Proposals from the construction industry with an estimate notice to proceed date early 2027.
Actual mobilization and construction activities would not begin until approximately late 2027.
MassDOT engineers and other experts anticipate that the existing I-90 westbound viaduct will need to be in service at a minimum until 2030 or later until the complete existing eight lane I-90 roadway can be removed, and traffic be accommodated “at grade” in a temporary roadway alignment.
MassDOT’s proposed viaduct preservation plan has been documenting the need for repairs that can withstand service and be in effect for 10-15 years or 2035.
Meanwhile, MassDOT and the Allston Multimodal Project team are evaluating a proposal that was brought forward by members of Harvard University, City of Boston and A Better City (ABC) that potentially accelerates the removal of the existing viaduct in earlier stages of the Allston Multimodal Project.
The early review of the sequencing plan provided strives to avoid the need for any temporary bridge structure to be constructed in the overall phasing to accommodate I-90 travel lanes, Grand Junction Railroad (GJRR), Soldiers Field Road (SFR), Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), Worcester-Framingham Main Line (WFML), and the Charles River pedestrian and bicycle path.
For more information on the Allston Multimodal Project, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/allston-multimodal-project