By Seth Daniel
Some years down the road, when the Woods Memorial Bridge has been completed, four lanes in each direction will carry cars to and from I-93 and a pedestrian an bicycle trail will stretch beneath on the Malden River.
Such are the plans for the multi-phased project that will transform a part of the Parkway that has been the source of Everett’s bottleneck woes for years.
Last Thursday morning, officials from the State Department of Transportation chose the project to celebrate National Infrastructure week – leading City and state officials on a tour of the work and explaining in detail how it will help improve the area.
“We’ll have four lanes of traffic each direction, plus a bike lane and a 10 foot sidewalk on either side of the roadway,” said Paul Stedman District 4 Highway Director. “It’s going to be a tremendous improvement.”
The project started earlier this year, but really ramped up its work in the last two months, bringing heavy equipment below the bridge for the westbound lanes and preparing for demolition.
Peter Tramontozzi, the project’s resident engineer, there are five phases to the project, which spans all the way from Wellington Circle to Santilli Circle and includes a railroad bridge and two four-lane bridges over the River.
It also includes a 16-foot shared use path below the bridge.
The project has already required shutting down the Orange Line on the weekends, and will likely require more of that in the coming months as utilities are moved and demolition begins on the bridge ways.
Currently, workers can be seen welding steel beams together that will be pounded 150 feet into the ground. That will open up demolition for the westbound lane this summer.
In 2017, the westbound bridge will be widened to four lanes and then re-opened to traffic – with the eastbound lanes handling both directions of traffic during the work.
In 2018, the same will happen on the eastbound lanes, expanding that span to four lanes while the new westbound bridge handles all traffic. It is expected to be complete at the end of 2018 – a three-year project.
Work will also require the Orange Line to shut down at 9:30 p.m. on many days so that overnight work can have a longer window of time.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria, as well as State Rep. Joe McGonagle, and others were present for the tour.
“It’s nice to see hard hats and people out here working on the infrastructure of Everett,” he said. “We need bridges and bike and pedestrian access so people can get to work and the places they need to go.”