John Greenleaf Whittier Memorial Bridge

Newburyport and Amesbury, Massachusetts

Client
Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Project Overview
As designer- and engineer-of-record, HNTB designed the John Greenleaf Whittier Memorial Bridge and Interstate 95 improvements as part of MassDOT's Accelerated Bridge Program. HNTB drew on extensive expertise in designing the innovative, network-tied arch bridge, which is one of only 14 in the U.S.

Strategy
The accelerated schedule meant submitting multiple early-release packages and gaining consensus from both the contractor and owner. Tackling one of MassDOT's largest projects ever, HNTB focused on a constructability with a plan to build the John Greenleaf Whittier Memorial Bridge one span at a time and while preserving its architectural and historic elements. With its innovative, unique proposal, HNTB delivered several firsts for the client:
  • network tied-arch bridge
  • EPS wall
  • shared-use path along a Massachusetts interstate
  • innovative launch girder, gantry crane erection scheme
  • application of an anchor system on a network-tied arch
  • new Pine Hill Bridge featuring continuous, curved steel girders, variable skews at the ends, an intermediate pier and integral abutments

In addition, the HNTB team managed bridge demolition, designed retaining walls, lighting and aesthetics, coordinated utilities, drafted drainage and stormwater treatment plans, secured environmental permits, led public outreach efforts

Solution
The design-build project expanded a 4-mile stretch of I-95 from three lanes to four in each direction, repaired and widened a major three-lane bridge and replaced or rehabilitated several other structures - all while maintaining six lanes of traffic to avoid major traffic backups. Despite numerous challenges, HNTB met every deadline, and, during the five-year construction period, there were no delays or cost overruns associated with design.