General Pierce Bridge

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Greenfield-Montague Bridge
Rehabilitation Project

On August 11, 2022, we started updating a bridge that spanned from Greenfield, MA to Montague, MA, for our client MassDOT – District 2. By updating the bridge in one stage via an incentivized and disincentivized acceleration schedule, instead of the original plan of two stages, we mitigated a six-month delay caused by unforeseen issues with an existing gas main. The bridge reopened for transportation a full seven months ahead of schedule in March 2023.


Before we began, the bridge was severely deteriorated with reduced capacities. It only offered one lane of travel, with a temporary traffic signal for traffic to proceed via alternating one-way traffic. This created a total detour length of approximately 6 miles for the estimated 10,000 vehicles that used the bridge per day—including emergency responders.


  • Constructed a new 7” composite deck overlaid with 1½” of Superpave asphalt.
  • Repaired various elements of the existing truss spans.
  • Replaced selected truss stingers and beams on the approach spans with new Grade 50 structural steel.
  • Installed a new S3–TL4 bridge railing system and an approach guardrail system for roadway work.
  • Provided a new cantilever steel utility assembly.
  • Cleaned and painted the structural steel members below the deck of the truss spans.
  • Replaced the approach span and end truss span stringer bearings.
  • Rehabilitated the pier caps, pier pedestals, abutment bridge seats, backwall and approach slabs and truss bearings.
  • Added lighting all along the approximately 770 foot-long bridge.


A heavily deteriorated gas main that traversed all four spans of the structure—proposed for replacement at the end of the project—was discovered to be leaking due to latent conditions that were beyond the control of the contractor. This resulted in a six-month schedule delay that pushed out sandblasting, cleaning, priming and demolition. There was also more unanticipated deterioration that wasn’t known about until cleaning, painting and demolition were underway, leading to substantial steel repair requirements.

To recover from all this, the implementation of atypical winter work was required. This called for engineering control measures like specialized enclosures, radiant heating units, forced hot air units and more to be able to work on the project straight through the cold.


All major bridge work—including paving, line striping, guardrail additions, minor steel repairs and painting of existing structural steel—was completed by the end of November 2022. Additionally, a redesign was added by MassDOT District 2 to construct a substantial amount of lighting for the entire bridge; this commenced in November and was completed in February 2023. Temporary platforms were removed in the final stages, leading to the bridge opening in March 2023.

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The collaboration of engineers, construction crews, subcontractors, union laborers, carpenters and operators was crucial for success. Teams involved included:

  • MassDOT District 2: Project owner who administered and managed all facets of the project for the state of Massachusetts.
  • WSP: Project designer contracted by MassDOT who designed the road and bridge rehabilitation, as well as administered the submittal and other engineering processes.
  • Atsalis Bros: Bridge structural steel painting subcontractor who employed union painters.
  • Atlantic Bridge & Engineering: Structural steel repair fabricator and subcontractor who employed union ironworkers.
  • Atlantic Coast Dismantling: Bridge demolition subcontractor who employed union laborers and operators.
  • Hardesty & Hanover: Professional engineering consultant that provided contractor design services for heavily detailed falsework and formwork plans, a temporary steel plate bridge superstructure access road and other bridge analyses needed for engineered plans.


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