The Charles M. Braga Jr. Memorial Bridge carries Interstate I95 over the Taunton River between Somerset and Fall River, Massachusetts. At over a mile in length, it is the world’s 10th longest continual truss span bridge. Opened to traffic starting in 1966, the Braga Bridge today serves as the main link between the south coast and Providence, R.I., accommodating 80,000 to 100,000 vehicles each day.
by Katherine Marr and Dan Boudreau
The Braga Bridge has undergone a series of renovations over the decades, the latest of which includes improvements to the structural integrity of the bridge and enhancements to the surrounding roadways.
Working for Barletta/O&G and Aetna Bridge, Marr Scaffolding Company installed scaffolding at Pier 25 in August 2014. Marr’s current work involves providing access to Pier 15 on the eastbound side of I95.
To access Pier 15, Marr engineered, designed, and custom-built a sectional scaffold work platform above the Taunton River with an elevation of 75 feet. Scaffolding 39-ft. high was constructed on the work platform for a total elevation of 114 feet. Configured with three work decks on both sides of the pier cap, the scaffolding provided for expanded work access.
To scaffold Pier 15, materials were shipped to a laydown area near Battleship Cove (the largest collection of retired U.S. Warships in the world) and loaded onto a barge provided by Aetna Bridge. The barge was relocated to the base of Pier 15 where the scaffold was hoisted by crane from an adjacent barge to the elevated platform for installation. Marr Scaffolding crew members are trained signal persons and were able to assist the crane operator in directing the load through moderate wind conditions. The scaffolding will be in use for approximately six months.
Katherine Marr is communications coordinator at The Marr Companies in Boston. Dan Boudreau is a project manage at Marr Scaffolding Company.