Phillipston Bridge Replacement Route 2 over Route 2A

Fast, Faster... Wicked Fast—Accelerated Bridge Construction
There is no such thing as fast construction on a bridge... when your sitting in traffic. Bridges are complicated to replace and keep traffic flowing, but the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has found a way to minimize the pain.

Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) is being used on the Phillipston bridge in Massachusetts and it is reducing construction time from years to months. This method involves building the bridge or the major bridge elements nearby. When the new bridge is ready the existing bridge is demolished and the new bridge is eased into place using cranes, self-propelled trailers. Although the bridge is shut down completely, the duration is only 202 hours rather then weeks or months.

One of the keys to this ABC method working smoothly is the Design/Build relationship between the designer, in this case TranSystems and the contractor SPS New England. Their ability to work together has proven as time saving as the method of construction. Problems are solved and avoided when we work together.

Precast concrete abutment caps and approach slabs were placed after the demolition of the existing bridge superstructure to facilitate the rapid installation of the new superstructure. Precast barrier rails sections were used to bridge between the cast-in-place (CIP) rails on the approach and on the bridge structure. Precast concrete abutment caps, approach slabs and barrier rail sections were produced by J. P. Carrarra & Sons, Inc., Middlebury, VT.

This project was started in May 2010 and the new bridge was in place on November 1st. The Phillipston bridge proves that Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) is a doable system that effectively replaces a deteriorating bridge without the costly and irritating traffic delays.

This is now a proven success and MassDOT has several more of these projects already on the drawing board.

Project Details










TranSystems Corporation, Boston, MA


SPS New England, Inc., Salisbury, MA

Total Length:

60'-8" span between abutments

Structural Precast Elements:

(4) Precast Concrete Abutment Caps,
4’-1” wide x up to 5’-7” deep, max. length = 37’-2”,
max. wt. = 90,000 lbs.

(12) Precast Concrete Approach Slabs,
10” thick x 7’-6” wide

(4) Precast Concrete CF-PL3 Modfied Barrier Sections


Back to