Metro

Braintree bridge project will cause Route 3 traffic jams this weekend

The bridge on Route 3.

MassDOT

The bridge on Route 3.

Next bridge up.

This time, it’s the bridge on Route 3 in Braintree, just south of the Interstate 93 split, that will be replaced in super-fast fashion by state highway workers.

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Beginning this weekend, work will first start on the northbound section of the bridge over the Thomas E. Burgin Parkway. Expect lane reductions, detours, and probably backed-up traffic for drivers heading up from the South Shore and Cape Cod. Jonathan Gulliver, the state’s acting highway administrator, estimated that about 60,000 drivers pass this section of roadway on a weekend day.

But the project isn’t expected to affect the weekday commute. It will be wrapped up in 55 hours, beginning Friday at 10 p.m. and ending Monday at 5 a.m.

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After several months of prep work, officials this weekend will deploy accelerated construction tactics that the state has used widely on its bridge work in recent years. Examples include the Commonwealth Avenue bridge over the Massachusetts Turnpike in July and August, and a 2011 project that replaced several bridges on Interstate 93 through Medford over a series of summer weekends.

These projects involve preparing materials ahead of time, then a round-the-clock blitz.

“Even though it’s a very big inconvenience for a short period of time, the overall benefits are really large, not having the impact over a prolonged period of time,” Gulliver said Thursday.

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The southbound side of the bridge will be replaced over another 55-hour period the weekend of Oct. 13 through 16, mostly completing the $6.3 million project.

Neither Route 3 South nor I-93 will see any lane closures this weekend. Traffic will be detoured from using Exit 19 to access the Burgin Parkway, which will be closed during the work.

Adam Vaccaro can be reached at adam.vaccaro@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamtvaccaro.
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