MassDOT makes bridge repairs while power canal is drawn down

Updated Sep 27, 2018
Google Earth screen shot.Google Earth screen shot.

Repairs are being done on the Fifth Street Bridge, also known as the Green Bridge, in Turner Falls, Mass., while the power canal is drawn down, the Greenfield Recorder reports.

“They’re going to fix what they can fix underneath the bridge because it’s only closed for a week,” said Highway Department Superintendent Tom Bergeron, according to the news agency. But he added that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) doesn’t have everything needed to fix the deck. “The bridge will be closed down, and it will be closed and stay closed until they can get the product and fix the deck, which will be for several weeks according to what DOT is saying.”

According to the news agency, Selectman Christopher Boutwell said the repairs need to be made to the Fifth Street Bridge before work can be done to the General Pierce Bridge. Bergeron said he went under the bridge while the canal was drawn down last year, and the bridge itself looked to be in pretty good structural condition. However, it has a large hump caused by the lack of an abutment on the mill side of the bridge.

The news agency reported that Bergeron said the bridge repairs are necessary now, because they will take extra traffic during repairs on the General Pierce Bridge, which is slated for 2020. Selectboard Chairman Richard Kuklewicz said the town tries to keep pressure on MassDOT to be mindful of the bridge’s condition, which continues to worsen, but everything is subject to available funding.