ANDOVER, Mass. (October 30, 2013) – The new Manhan River Bridge in Easthampton opened Thursday to a buzz of excitement.

The new single-span bridge, which approaches the intersection of Northampton Street (Route 10) and West Street, was completely rebuilt after the original 92-foot long bridge was deemed structurally deficient.

The Andover office of Diversified Technology Consultants (DTC) was called upon to design the engineering aspects of the new bridge, with an overall project cost of approximately $4 million.

The existing bridge was closed to traffic in June of this year and the new bridge was opened to traffic less than five months later, five weeks ahead of schedule.

DTC attributes the quick turnaround to the use of innovative precast concrete superstructure.

The superstructure is made of precast Deck Bulb Tee Beams, which DTC Vice President Jeff Finitz, PE explains, “Utilizes an 8 inch deep top flange, which is integral with the web of the beam. The beams are joined together by six inch wide closure pours. By doing that, when you join the beams, it includes both the beams and deck in one unit. So together, it eliminates the need for a separate concrete pour for the deck.”

Ultra High Performance Concrete with steel fibers was used for the closure pours and gained compressive strength in excess of 24,000 psi.

This is the first time the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has used a superstructure system of this type to build or enhance their bridges.

“We always talk about innovation, but I try to equate innovation to value. In this project, we used innovative materials to complete the project ahead of schedule. So we put our innovation to the betterment of the surrounding community,” said Finitz.

In addition to the new bridge, the nearby traffic intersection received new signals, as well as a dedicated left turn lane from Northampton Street northbound onto West Street.

The project is part of MassDOT’s Accelerated Bridge Program which seeks to reduce the number of structurally deficient bridges across the state.

DTC also provided highway and utility design, obtained all permits for the project, offered ROW services and consulted during construction.