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Signature Project Transforms Westfield with New Bridge, Existing Bridge Reconstruction, New Public Park
WESTFIELD – Governor Deval Patrick today dedicated the Great River Bridges project in downtown Westfield.
The $80 million project completed in May includes a new bridge and reconstruction of the existing historic bridge. The two bridges carry Route 10/202 over the Westfield River, providing three lanes of traffic in each direction, adding capacity and easing traffic congestion along the heavily-traveled route. The project also includes replacement of a railroad viaduct, construction of a new public riverfront park on the north bank of the Westfield River and expanded municipal parking in the downtown area.
“The Great River Bridges investment has transformed downtown Westfield, creating jobs and economic opportunity while making major improvements to regional transportation for decades to come,” said Governor Patrick.
The Great River Bridges replace a single original bridge that was one of only two crossings over the Westfield River within the city and a major transportation artery, carrying more than 33,000 vehicles daily. The $80 million project was funded through the Statewide Road and Bridge Program, with the Federal Highway Administration contributing 80 percent of the cost and the Commonwealth contributing the remaining 20 percent.
“This project stands out as an extraordinary combination of new construction and historic rehabilitation plus real quality of life additions such as a new public outdoor space,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey.
“We must continue to make these investments in our transportation infrastructure across the state,” said Senator Thomas McGee. “In addition to the significant benefits of the bridge construction, the viaduct replacement compliments a $200 million investment by CSX to our freight rail system. These improvements not only ease the burden on our highways and roads, but also enhance our opportunities for future economic growth.”
“I want to thank my colleagues in government, both current and past, who have endeavored long and hard to make this project a reality,” said Representative Donald Humason. “I especially wish to thank the commuters, the businesses, and the neighbors who have been so patient and endured so much throughout the work. But most of all I want to thank the taxpayers of the Commonwealth for funding these beautiful bridges and parks. We, the people of Westfield, are delighted with the outcome and excited about the new gateway to our city.”
The replacement of the existing CSX viaduct over North Elm Street and Union Avenue required raising existing CSX tracks and the viaduct to provide necessary clearance over North Elm Street. The increased clearance beneath a railroad viaduct ends an existing bottleneck that caused frequent truck detours.