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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

July 22 Cole Avenue Bridge Opening

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Thursday, July 21, 2005

Broad Brook bridge could see two-way traffic in October.
Williamstown – The long wait should be just about over; Massachusetts Highway Department officials said today [July 21] that a new Cole Avenue bridge should open to two-way traffic tomorrow.

Temporary Bridge to Close

“We are planning to open the bridge tomorrow,” said MassHighway District 1 Director Ross Dindio during a July 21 interview. “We don’t know if it will happen in the morning or the afternoon, but we are planning to open it tomorrow. Once the new bridge is opened, the temporary bridge will be closed, but we don’t think anyone will mind.”


Cole Avenue bridge is expected be opened to traffic on July 22.
The construction isn’t completely finished, Dindio said, and added that slope work, road sign installation, and planting efforts will be ongoing and a final driving surface paving is also ahead. The temporary bridge is scheduled to be disassembled and removed beginning next week, he said. The entire project should be completed by mid-September.

The bridge is the last of two vehicle- and pedestrian-traveled bridges replaced on Cole Avenue. A previously completed bridge spans the Hoosac River; the current project passes over Guilford Transportation-owned railroad tracks. Both of the original bridges had been in existence for decades, were built to meet the standards of the times, and were in need of replacement, Dindio noted.

“There is a lot more traffic than there used to be, and the trucks of today are considerably heavier than the trucks in the 1930s,” he said.

Dindio said that an anticipated completion date of July 31 was extended to October 15 because of weather issues, material delivery issues, and other factors. The project’s general contractor is the Pittsfield-based firm of J.H. Maxymillian Construction. The company secured the contract with a bid of $5,410,002.84; project costs are now at about $6.3 million, Dindio said.

“We did make a lot of changes [as the project progressed],” Dindio said. “A lot of money went through the contractor to a designer for redesign [of part of the project].”

One significant change that cost time and money came from discovery of a wall that was uncovered after construction began. Parts of the project had to be reconfigured because of the obstacle.

A side view of the newly-constructed Cole Avenue bridge


Broad Brook Bridge Could See Two-Way Traffic in October

A Route 7 Broad Brook bridge project is on track for a mid-October completion, Dindio said. Northbound approach paving is expected to begin tomorrow, and installation of bridge rails and posts are expected to follow the paving. Similar work is expected to commence along the bridge’s southbound approach beginning the first week of August, Dindio said.

An alternating one-way traffic temporary bridge and four traffic signals are controlling Route 7 traffic impacted by the Broad Brook construction project. The area is often congested with vehicles; the Chef’s Hat and Cozy Corner restaurants, TJs convenience store, Chenails fresh produce market, a hair salon, and other businesses are situated on either side of the construction zone.

The Maxymillian firm was awarded that bridge contract as well with a bid of $1,115,378.54. Current costs are at about $1.4 million, Dindio said.

Hemlock Brook Bridge Update

Work is progressing on a Hemlock Brook bridge replacement project, also on Route 7. Construction of concrete bridge abutments is scheduled to begin next week, and construction of back walls and approach slabs are scheduled to begin in August. The Maxymillian firm submitted a bid of $1,447,882.10 to acquire the contract, and the costs are now at about $1.6 million, Dindio said. Costs are not expected to rise significantly higher than that, he added. The Hemlock Brook bridge project began in June.

Susan Bush may be reached by e-mail at suebush123@adelphia.net or at 802-823-9367.
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