Fore River Bridge Case History

The largest, most complex panel bridge ever built

Acrow engineered, supplied and supervised the installation of twin parallel lift bridges over the Fore River in Massachusetts to provide access between Quincy and Weymouth.

The massive temporary bridge was installed by The Middlesex Companies for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The bridge is comprised of two Acrow bridges that are side by side. Each bridge is 30 feet (9.15 meters) wide and 700 feet (214 meters) long and connect the two cities of Quincy and Weymouth, Massachusetts while carrying Route 3A. Route 3A is one of two highways that connects the City of Boston with the vacation/recreational area of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Each bridge handles about 23,000 vehicles per day per or 46,000 total vehicles per day total with a high percentage of heavy trucks at around 20% or 9,000 per day. A unique feature of this bridge is its two main spans that are 210 feet (64 meters) long. These two spans lift up to allow the passage of ships under the bridge. The spans rise up providing a clearance off of the water of 215 feet (65 meters). The time needed to lift the two spans is 5 minutes. The bridge has been open to traffic since 2003 and is planned to be in place for 15 years. The bridges are comprised of 22 approach spans, two opening vertical lift spans each 210 feet in length that allow large ships to pass underneath, 10,000 tons of steel, 60,000 structural bolts, and a total length of over 2,500 feet.

The design, manufacture and installation of the Acrow Fore River bridge was a massive undertaking guided by the Acrow Engineering team and over 100 specialists from several partners (Middlesex Company, Massachusetts Highway Authority, and Acrow Corporation) working together to complete North America’s largest temporary movable lift bridge.