Silver Award Winner of the ACEC/MA 2019 Engineering Excellence Competition

The Interstate 91 Viaduct Rehabilitation Project in Springfield, Massachusetts, was among those chosen by the panel of judges as a Silver Award winner of the ACEC/MA 2019 Engineering Excellence Awards competition! The ACEC/MA Engineering Excellence Awards Competition Recognizes Engineering Achievements that demonstrate the Highest Degree of Merit and Ingenuity.

The award was evaluated based on five categories
1. Uniqueness and/or innovative applications of new or existing techniques
2. Future value to the engineering profession and perception by the public
3. Social, economic and sustainable development considerations
4. Complexity
5. Successful fulfillment of client/owner needs

Project Description
Working with project owner MassDOT, VHB and CME partnered to deliver the Interstate 91 Viaduct Rehabilitation project on time and on budget. CME led the bridge engineering and surveying. The I-91 Viaduct serves as a major transportation link (75,000 vehicles per day) in Springfield and neighboring communities of West Springfield, Agawam, Longmeadow, and East Longmeadow, as well as serving as a primary route between Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. The bridge spans city streets, the AMTRAK railroad, and a pair of two-level parking garages directly beneath several of the southern spans. The existing viaduct was put into service in 1970 and consists of a reinforced concrete deck slab supported by steel girders. To proactively address the maintenance and reliability issues, MassDOT opted to completely replace the deck, including repairing and painting the structural steel, replacing the bearings, improving the drainage, and installing new highway lighting. VHB and CME have been partners to MassDOT on this approximately $200M project since its inception, providing structural, highway, and traffic design and temporary traffic control, drainage analysis and design, noise study and specifications, and environmental permitting.

Why This Project Is Worthy of Special Recognition
The I-91 Viaduct Rehabilitation addressed a major portion of the local and regional roadway system in Western Massachusetts. By successfully managing high volumes of traffic, on the I-91 viaduct and local streets, the project was finished while keeping the City of Springfield open for business, including during the concurrent MGM casino construction—a major state initiative. The project was complex given the volume of traffic impacted, the viaduct’s location in downtown Springfield, and construction over parking garages and railroad infrastructure. The project used innovative traffic management techniques and project-specific bridge design details to minimize disruption and stay on schedule.