MassDOT: peeling paint unexpected, covered in contract

March 3, 2016 | G. Michael Dobbs

SPRINGFIELD – The peeling of the paint on some of the steel girders that support the Interstate 91 viaduct was unexpected, but was covered by the contract to rebuild the span through downtown Springfield.

Jacquelyn Goddard of the Massachusetts department of Transportation (MassDOT) told Reminder Publications the recent weekend of extreme cold weather caused paint to peel. The painting of the girders is within the scope of work and was part of the contract.

There was netting installed in the parking areas under the viaduct to catch the lead-based paint flakes, she explained.

Although she said the affected area was “relatively small,” if more occurs there may additional detours added to the roadway.

Air monitoring equipment was set at the location because of the lead content of the paint.

MassDOT has also directed project contractor White-Schiavone, JV, to test the soil for contamination on the adjacent city streets.

The crew working second shift on the project discovered the peeling paint on Feb. 17. The area where the paint has peeled is “both the northbound and southbound sides, mainly south of the I-291 interchange, under the active travel lanes in the outer areas of the deck and where traffic has been diverted off the inner lanes of the viaduct,” according to MassDOT.

Goddard said, “The full painting project for the interior of the bridge (middle lanes) will be weather dependent but will be completed we believe approximately in September 2017.”

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