During the last few weeks there has been a lot of work around the bridge itself. This work has resulted in traffic delays, as the bridge is reduced to one lane. The morning commute for many has been slow; however, the police have done a great job in keeping traffic moving as quickly as possible.
You will notice in the pictures and the video that there is work going on below the bridge to prepare for the project. Crews worked to remove the brush and trees to gain access to the underside of the bridge and install large sandbags to hold back the earth from the river.
The moving of the utilities has been happening over the last few weeks. Some experienced a power outage on Feb. 25 for approximately a half an hour. This was not directly related to the bridge work but is part of the process to remove wires. WMECO has been working on Pleasant Street to reroute the feeds that cross the bridge. In order to move forward with the removal of the bridge and installation of a pedestrian bridge, Verizon, Charter and Fibertec will need to move their equipment from the poles on the bridge as well.This will be happening over the next few weeks. When all is said and done, it is our understanding that the poles will be moved opposite to the side they are now.
With that completed, substructure work has started. Drilling and other work is going on below the bridge for concrete walls that tie into the foundation and the abutment. Below the bridge on the east side, you will see walls that will be backfilled with rock to hold back and reinforce it. On the west side near the DPW Yard entrance, the same will be happening. However, on the West Street side, this (as of this posting) is not needed because of the low grade.
It is anticipated that the pedestrian bridge will be installed around mid to late March. The process to install the bridge may cause longer delays and the possibility of a closure of the bridge for a few hours. This HAS NOT been established yet, and we will keep everyone posted as it gets closer to happening.
|Easthampton Manhan Bridge project Update 2-25-13|
West Street Intersection Work
The arm that will hold the traffic light should be going in sometime in the next several weeks. This will cause delays on the corner of Northampton and West Streets. As we get notification of the installation we will keep everyone posted.
Many have had questions about the turn lane that will be on Northampton Street as you come across the bridge towards West Street. The bridge is staying the same width overall. As you cross the bridge going north, there will be two lanes, one 10' left turn only for West street and one 11' (typical) lane for traffic heading north on Rt.10. The southbound lane over the bridge will remain at 11'.
The section of wall that was shown in the last issue has been completed.
Ferry Street & Pleasant Street Intersection
As reported in the last issue, as of Jan. 16, the work on this intersection is complete. The temporary lights have been installed and they are just waiting to be tested. The lights have been flashing for a few weeks and will continue to do so until they are tested and the bridge is ready to be closed. We will advise everyone as soon as we know when the testing phase will start.
|Intersection of Pleasant & Ferry Street Temporary Lights|
Northampton & O'Neil Streets
This intersection has not seen too much activity over the last month. Before the bridge closes, this intersection (along with West and Ferry) will need to be completed and the traffic lights will need to be operational. It is expected that in the next month, work will start again as the pole for the traffic light will be installed along with other street cuts.