Blackstone picks firm for bridge repair work
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.