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January 23. 2013 10:58PM

Route 3 construction project in Bedford ahead of schedule

BEDFORD - The $11.5 million construction project on the old Route 3 is nearing completion ahead of schedule, according to Michael Cole, vice president of E.D. Swett, one of the companies contracted for the project.

Awarded in the summer of 2011, the project includes the widening of 3,500 feet of roadway and a new bridge over the Everett Turnpike, which is 99 percent complete.

The DOT upgrade created some 40 jobs, Cole said, from craftsmen to managers across the three-company team that won the contract - E.D. Swett, Continental Paving and the engineering firm Louis Berger Group, which designed the bridge.

The River Road bridge work, just south of the 101 exit on the Everett Turnpike, required the blasting of 25,000 cubic yards of rock along the highway. It was designed in anticipation of the future widening of the turnpike.

Workers are on a winter shutdown and expect to return to the job in March, Cole said, adding that the project is scheduled to reach completion prior to the July 1 end date.

In the spring, Swett will complete the final cosmetic details on the bridge, smoothing concrete ridges, applying protective sealants and painting concrete surfaces.

Workers will also complete the demolition of the old bridge.

In addition to the new bridge, the stretch of Route 3 between MINI of Bedford and Hawthorne Drive has been widened to two lanes, and is about 95 percent finished.

Traffic is currently passing over the second of three layers of pavement, the binder level. The wear level is to be applied in the spring.

After the final layer is completed, lane lines will be painted, equipment will be removed and signage will be installed.

Other aspects of the project include drainage work, which is completed, and the installation of median islands and sidewalks on Route 3, which will be finished in the spring.

srios@newstote.com


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