Major Tobin Bridge Repairs to Resume for the Summer

Major repair work and lane closures will return to the Mystic Tobin Bridge next week as the second-year in a three-year rehabilitation project begins anew.

The contract for the work includes painting, maintenance and preservation work, and focuses on caring for the steel that has held the bridge up since 1950.

This week, the contractor on the project has already begun initiating daytime and nighttime lane closures to install the platforms on the upper and lower side of the bridge – the same platforms that dominated the bridge during last summer’s work.

Nevertheless, permanent lane restrictions will begin on the week of April 8th.

On April 8th, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) will have a public meeting at 6 p.m. in Chelsea City Hall. Planners will detail lane closures on the upper and lower side of the bridge, and the schedule of work – which is slated to end in November.

The final year of work will begin in the spring of 2014.

None of Chelsea’s on-ramps or off-ramps are expected to be disrupted, with the lone exception of the Everett Avenue on-ramp – which will be reduced in size so as to merge with the reduced traffic lanes on the bridge.

Below is a run-down of the work schedule for April.

• Week of April 8

The contractor will begin to set up barrels to get motorists accustomed to the lane restrictions that will reduce the roadway from three lanes to two on both decks of the bridge. The restriction will allow the contractor to complete the installation of rigging and shielding

• Week of April 15

The contractor will begin installing barriers along both sides of the bridge and install side shielding around the two travel lanes to provide additional safety for the public. Work to install the shielding will continue. Shielding will be installed throughout the length of the project to limit any possible inconvenience to the public. The contractor will begin setting up a fully encapsulating containment system inside the existing shielding providing redundancy to ensure none of the removed paint escapes.

• Week of April 22

Once the containment has been fully installed, tested and approved, the contractor may begin sandblasting off the existing paint, repairing necessary steel bridge appurtenances, and painting.

Motorists may wish to stay informed by visiting the project’s website,, or by following

MassDOT’s Twitter feed for project photos and details @MassDOT.

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