Black­stone picks firm for bridge re­pair work

Woonsocket Call - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSEPH FITZGER­ALD jfitzger­[email protected]­et­

BLACK­STONE – Work to re­place the ail­ing Lin­coln Street Bridge is fi­nally slated to be­gin June 1 of next year and should be com­pleted within a month.

At a meet­ing Tues­day, the se­lect­men unan­i­mously voted to award a $667,727 con­tract to Aqua­line Util­ity, Inc., an East Wey­mouth com­pany that will over­see the cul­vert re­place­ment project. The project will in­clude the in­stal­la­tion of six pre­cast six-foot by 36-foot bridge cul­verts, which will be or­dered in Jan­uary and then man­u­fac­tured off­site be­fore be­ing de­liv­ered to the con­struc­tion site no later than the mid­dle of May.

The project will in­clude re­plac­ing the bridge for a to­tal project length of 500 feet and adding new guardrails and side­walks, in­clud­ing ty­ing the side­walk across the street from the Black­stone-Mil­lville Re­gional High School into the

side­walk head­ing to the John F. Kennedy School.

Dur­ing the project, which is slated to be­gin June 1 and be com­pleted by the mid­dle of July, Lin­coln Street from the high school to the last house on Res­i­den­tial Lane will be closed. Af­ter the project is com­pleted the road­way will be repaved.

The project is shovel-ready be­cause a lot of in- fras­truc­ture work, in­clud­ing sur­vey­ing, has al­ready been com­pleted.

The his­toric bridge, lo­cated be­tween the Black­stone-Mil­lville Re­gional High School and the John F. Kennedy El­e­men­tary/Au­gus­tine F. Maloney School com­plex, spans the Fox Brook. It was closed ear­lier last spring so high­way work­ers could re­pair and fill a large hole on one side of the bridge, which has been slowly de­te­ri­o­rat­ing for the past 25 years. The bridge was later re­opened, but has been re­stricted to one lane in each di­rec­tion.

Town vot­ers ear­lier this year ap­proved a town meet­ing ap­pro­pri­a­tion of $400,000 for the project, which will be off­set by more than $200,000 from the state in the form of “Chap­ter 90” fund­ing for lo­cal road and bridge re­pairs and cap­i­tal fund­ing from the cap­i­tal in­fra­struc­ture bill signed into into law by gov. Char­lie Baker.

The town had been try­ing to ad­dress the bridge since the 1990’s. The project was on the De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion’s list of projects for fund­ing, but kept be­ing put off un­til Sen. Ryan Fattman was able to se­cure fund­ing this past spring.

“We are in ex­cel­lent fi­nan­cial shape to move the project for­ward,” said Town Ad­min­is­tra­tor Daniel Keyes.

The bridge is one of three in town that lo­cal of­fi­cials are hop­ing to ei­ther re­pair or re­place.

At the an­nual town meet- ing dur­ing the spring, vot­ers ap­pro­pri­ated $217,000 for a study and de­sign work for the St. Paul Street bridge, which is in need of re­pairs. The study and de­sign is needed in case there is state fund­ing avail­able for the project down the road.

Vot­ers also ap­proved $198,999 to re­con­struct the his­toric stone arch bridge on Elm Street. If ap­proved, the money would be re­im­bursed by the state’s Mu­nic­i­pal Small Bridge Pro­gram.

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