John Vitagliano, community liaison and project coordinator for the Belle Isle Bridge replacement project, reports that traffic has been flowing smoothly since the start of the project Monday.
“The traffic management plan is going exceptionally well, even better than any of us had hoped,” said Vitagliano. “There are two fundamental reasons. One is that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s original traffic plan was extremely well thought out. The second reason is that the Winthrop and Boston police details are making this plan go. They’re directing traffic for safe passage to and from Winthrop but also making sure that the businesses have complete access to their customers.”
Two lanes of traffic remain in the bridge reconstruction area, although the size of the two original lanes has been greatly reduced. Vitagliano said there is sufficient room for two large vehicles such as buses to proceed through the lanes simultaneously in opposition directions.
Vitagliano said demolition of the roadway surface will begin in a few days. A blockade has been installed around that area of the bridge.
“The entire project will take two years – we’ll be building one half of the bridge per year,” said Vitagliano. “The demolition phase will take a few months and then we’ll start rebuilding each side of the bridge with new piles and a whole new roadway surface.”
The Belle Isle Bridge is located at the entrance from East Boston (Saratoga Street) into Winthrop (Main Street).