Casey Overpass partly closed for repairs

August 31, 2012
By

FOREST HILLS—The eastbound lane of the Casey Overpass is closed for emergency repairs after debris reportedly fell from the crumbling bridge. The overpass is the State Route 203/Arborway bridge over Washington Street and New Washington Street.

Work is expected to begin shortly and last until around 11 p.m., according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Eastbound drivers are recommended to use Centre Street as an alternate route. Police officers are on the scene to direct traffic. The Forest Hills T Station’s operations are not affected, according to MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo.

Drivers should expect delays and enter the area slowly. The partial closure comes as the Labor Day weekend begins and students are moving into Boston en masse for the standard Sept. 1 lease start date. Traffic on Centre Street is already backed up for over a half-mile.

Pieces of concrete on the deck of the bridge came loose, exposing steel reinforcement bars, MassDOT spokesperson Michael Verseckes told the Gazette. That concrete will be fixed, and “inspectors and engineers will be assessing for other damage as well,” he said. The debris fell from a section of the overpass over the T station property at the intersection of Washington Street, New Washington Street and the Arborway, to the east of the Route 39 bus stop. That area is blocked off with police caution tape.

The aging overpass is slated to be demolished starting early next year, then be replaced by a new network of surface streets. The overpass already was restricted to only two travel lanes and has fabric wrap on several parts to catch any debris. MassDOT officials have said it cannot be repaired and must be demolished, but is safe to drive on.

Updated version: This version includes details of the overpass damage.

Workers atop a truck’s elevated platform inspect the underside of the Casey Overpass around 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 31. Some type of debris fell or was knocked loose from the edge of the overpass as they worked. (Gazette Photo by John Ruch)