We are proud to announce that we have been named the recipient of a Gold Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA) for our MassDOT Crescent Street Over Millers River Bridge Replacement Project in Athol, MA.
The ACEC/MA Engineering Excellence Awards are an annual competition recognizing engineering achievements that demonstrate the highest degree of merit and ingenuity.
Placing in the Top 5 out of more than 30 project submittals, we appreciate the judges acknowledging the complexity of this project. Ko Ishikura, President, and Tiffany Card, Project Manager, accepted the award on Green’s behalf along with Carrie Lavallee, MassDOT Deputy Administrator and Chief Engineer, and Matt Minihan, MassDOT Resident Engineer for the project.
Green, headquartered in Tewksbury, MA, was the project manager and lead designer for the replacement of the Crescent Street Over Millers River Bridge, which is under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). The bridge is closely nestled among buildings and structures owned by the L.S. Starrett Company (Starrett). The bridge sits mere feet away from Starrett’s main building on the west side and the dam serving the facility on the east side. The south and north approaches are further bracketed by the Company’s facilities.
Starrett has been at the heart of business in Athol since its founding by Laroy S. Starrett in 1881. With over 500 employees at the Athol facility alone, and having earned Athol the nickname “Tool Town”, the company remains the Town’s largest employer to this day.
While Starrett’s business grew, the bridge aged. Wear and tear from decades of use combined with the upstream dam’s spillway creating harsh environments due to water spray and ice flows, caused the bridge to deteriorate to the point where a full replacement was needed. For a bridge so woven into the fibers of the community, it was crucial to approach its replacement with exceptional care and communication within the team itself and with stakeholders.
The abundance of physical constraints presented by the site, including the Starrett-owned buildings, wall structures, underground and overhead utilities, tunnels, the dam, and Millers River, posed many design and construction challenges.
Despite the small footprint, Green was able to widen the bridge to accommodate two sidewalks to meet the pedestrian needs of the Town and the business. All this was done in one construction season so as to avoid prolonged impacts to Starrett and the local community.
The project’s success was achieved thanks to Green’s design ingenuity and ability to develop a highly effective partnership among all stakeholders. The new bridge surpasses the function of the previous bridge and is also designed to combat the constant water spray and icing issues, which will help this new bridge stand the test of time and continue to be a reliable structure for the Town and Starrett for decades to come.