I-195 Accelerated Open-Cut Crossing

Swansea, Massachusetts

Client: Town of Swansea, Massachusetts


  • Capacity Analysis
  • Data Collection
  • MassDOT Highway Access Permit
  • Traffic Management Plan

Project Summary

Hoyle, Tanner provided engineering services to the Swansea Water District for the construction of two new water mains across I-195 in Swansea, Massachusetts. The watermains connected the Swansea Water District’s $20 million desalination plant with the water distribution network. The services provided by Hoyle, Tanner consisted of designing 16-inch and 20-inch watermains passing under I-195; a Traffic Management Plan (TMP), construction phasing; and a MassDOT Highway Access Permit, and full-time resident engineering services.

The TMP, construction phasing, and Highway Access Permit were developed in conformance with MassDOT and the Swansea Water District standards, and enabled the watermain construction to be perform as rapidly as possible, while maximizing safety for the traveling public and the contractor. The challenges consisted of maintaining traffic flow on I-195, a 6-lane highway with an AADT of over 39,000 vpd in each direction that provides access to Cape Cod and Providence, RI, while using an open-cut trench to install the watermains across each 52-foot barrel. Also, the watermains had to be built when the ground water level in this tidal area was at a minimum to avoid dewatering the trenches.

The TMP consisted of working from 10 PM Friday to 5 AM Monday on consecutive weekends to minimize the impact to commuters. Working with MassDOT, a time of day to reduce I-195 to two travel lanes and then to one, was pinpointed; an alternate route (US Route 6) was found; and activities that could be done before and after the weekend closures were identified. Also, public outreach, including a press conference; press releases; and permanent and temporary VMS signs, was conducted, as well as coordination with the state and local police and RIDOT.

Hoyle, Tanner performed capacity and queue analyses, developed Traffic Control Plans, Construction Phasing Plans, and a narrative for MassDOT and FHWA approval, and 24 hour/day resident inspection along with MassDOT’s District 5 Construction Engineering staff.

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