The historic Boston University bridge is receiving a sorely needed $20-million total body makeover while still remaining open to a steady stream of cars, cyclists and pedestrians. Crossing over the Charles River, the 80-year-old Boston-Cambridge link, which provides spectacular views of Boston’s skyline, had aged to the point where the sidewalks were crumbling, the railing had rusted, and concrete was spalling. The old drainage system was so corroded that stormwater went through the bridge and into the river. The project received a boost from 2008 Massachusetts legislation that created the $3-billion, eight-year Accelerated Bridge Program. Pihl Inc., the U.S. branch
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.