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Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge

Shrewsbury-Worcester, Massachusetts

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Construction Phase Services, Architecture, Design



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T.Y. Lin International (TYLI) provided bridge design services, bridge architecture review, and the independent design check for the Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge (Burns Bridge) in central Massachusetts. The bridge replacement project was a signature initiative of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Accelerated Bridge Program, and implemented as a design-build project.

The Burns Bridge replaces a concrete open spandrel arch bridge that dated back to 1916 and was considered one of the most significant bridges in the region. The new two barrel steel arch bridge 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. Each of the two structures carries three traffic lanes, a bike lane, and a pedestrian walkway, with architecturally pleasing overlooks provided for scenic views of the lake.

Opening four months ahead of schedule, the Burns Bridge connects the cities of Worcester and Shrewsbury, and carries Route 9 over Lake Quinsigamond, an important recreational asset to local communities. The bridge now brings significant benefits to drivers, pedestrians, boaters, and the many competitive rowing team regattas hosted at the lake each year.

Project Highlights:

  • 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 and constructability of the system.
  • During the Design Phase, TYLI prepared the design of the pile caps and post-tensioned ties.
  • 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.
America’s Transportation Award, 2016
Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials (NASTO)
Public Works Project of the Year, 2016
American Public Works Association (APWA)
Prize Bridge Award for Medium Span, 2016
National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA)
Best Highway/Bridge Project Award, 2016
Engineering News-Record (ENR), New England
Gold Award, 2016
American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA)
Excellence in Construction Merit Award, 2015
Association of Builders and Contractors of Connecticut (ABC Connecticut)
Gold Award for Highways and Bridges, 2015
Design-Build Institute, New England Region (DBIA New England)