Painting on the Tobin Memorial Bridge will resume on the Everett Avenue on-ramp roadway, northbound, beginning Monday, May 7 and extend through November, weather permitting. This will be the fifth phase in Massport's nine phase painting project that began in 1992. Repainting is essential to preserving the structural integrity of the Tobin Bridge and maintaining a safe environment for its neighbors.
Abrasive cleaning and painting will begin near span C5, located between lower Broadway and the Admirals Hill area and progress north to C12 at Beacon Street. In addition, non-lead painted areas including the catwalks and guard railings will be also refurbished during this phase of the program.
Once again, Massport has contracted with Atlas Painting Corp. to resume paint removal and resurfacing known as abrasive cleaning on the Tobin Bridge. This system safely removes the lead-based old paint by thoroughly stripping the surface to ensure that new paint may be applied easily and with greater life expectancy.
With 24-hour ambient as well as regular on-site environmental consultants using hand-held monitors to test the air quality emission, Massport's air quality monitoring program surpasses any city, state or federal guidelines. The parts of the Tobin Bridge located within Charlestown and Chelsea, will be lead-free at the completion of phase 9 of the painting project.
"Last year's use of abrasive cleaning proved to be an environmental success. The steel abrasive was recaptured, cleansed of all lead and reused all in a fully enclosed containment area. Paint chips were contained from the time they came off the steel to the time they were sealed in containers," said Mary Jane O'Meara, Massport's director of the Tobin Bridge. "Massport is committed to using the newest technology and safest systems to remove and contain old paint to provide a protective and safe environment for our neighboring residents and the bridge itself."
Massport's procedure for this project includes a stringent set of controls based on guidelines from the Steel Structures Painting Council, now known as the Society for Protective Coatings, considered the industry standard for protection of public health and the environment.
Because the majority of the painting will take place on the underside of the Everett Avenue on-ramp, traffic impacts will be minimal. Painting crews will be scheduled to work weekdays, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Abrasive cleaning will not begin until 8 a.m.
The Tobin Bridge, like most bridges, must be painted on a continual basis. Protective coatings shield it from exposure to the elements, which cause rust, a deteriorating agent of steel. Green paint is used to reflect sun away from the surface, thus causing less damage to the paint. The Tobin Memorial Bridge by virtue of its location is extremely vulnerable to damaging elements such as the harsh New England weather and ocean salt, a known corrosive.
For further information on the program please call Dorothy Steele at 617-568-3705 .