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T.Y. Lin International Announces Completion of Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge in Massachusetts

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T.Y. Lin International (TYLI), a globally recognized full-service infrastructure consulting firm, announces the successful completion of the new Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge (Burns Bridge) in central Massachusetts, which was marked by a dedication and bridge lighting ceremony on November 1, 2015. Part of a design-build team led by The Middlesex Construction Company, and working closely with the project’s lead design engineer, Fay, Spofford & Thorndike, TYLI provided design services, bridge architecture review, and the independent design check for the bridge replacement project. The new Burns Bridge opened four months ahead of schedule and represents a signature initiative of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' historic Accelerated Bridge Program.

For the dedication and bridge lighting ceremony, TYLI joined Massachusetts’ Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Pollack, U.S. Representative (MA) James McGovern, the firm’s project partners, and thousands of local residents in celebrating the completion of the new crossing. The bridge is named for the late Kenneth F. Burns, a police chief in Shrewsbury for many decades who was a coach, a world-recording holding oarsman, and a judge at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.

Connecting Worcester and Shrewsbury, and carrying Route 9 over Lake Quinsigamond, an important recreational asset to surrounding local communities, the new Burns Bridge replaces a concrete open spandrel arch bridge that dated back to 1916 and was considered one of the most significant bridges in central Massachusetts. The replacement bridge is a two barrel steel arch structure that consists of two separate structures supporting eastbound and westbound traffic. Each structure is an 870-foot-long, five-span, open spandrel steel-tied deck arch, supported on two concrete abutments and four perched pile caps. The two structures both carry three traffic lanes, one bike lane and a pedestrian walkway, with overlooks provided for scenic views of the lake.

“T.Y. Lin International is very pleased to have provided design engineering services to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation as they take action to repair or replace structurally deficient bridges across the Commonwealth,” said Santiago Rodriguez, TYLI Associate Vice President. “The new Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge not only complements the beautiful environs of Lake Quinsigamond, but it also brings significant benefits to drivers, pedestrians, boaters, and the many competitive rowing team regattas hosted here each year.”

During the bid phase, TYLI developed the technical proposal concept for the bridge’s perched pile caps and the post-tensioned ties, which significantly improved the structural efficiency of the system. The TYLI team also provided independent analysis and design checks of the bridge superstructure. The independent analysis included the effect of construction staging and the two-stage post-tensioning of the ties. Each superstructure consists of three 5-foot 4 inch by 3-foot 10-inch arch-box ribs spaced at 21 feet. The concrete deck sits on steel stringers supported on floorbeams, which connect to the arches through spandrel columns and drag-brackets.