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MassDOT Awards Westhampton $1.2 Million to Replace South Road Bridge
BOSTON (Tuesday, August 14, 2012) – Today, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey announced the award of $1.2 million for the replacement of South Road Bridge in Westhampton.
“MassDOT, on behalf of the Patrick-Murray Administration, is proud to partner with the community of Westhampton on this important project. These kinds of smaller-scale investments are often overlooked but are incredibly important to communities,” said Secretary Davey.
The bridge work will consist of replacing the existing 12 foot long, 20 foot wide bridge with a three-sided precast concrete rigid frame culvert. The proposed 28 foot width will better accommodate pedestrians, including its use by athletes training from the nearby regional high school.
“The replacement of the South Road Bridge will increase accessibility and improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola.
The town will be reimbursed through MassDOT's Small Bottlebeck Grant Program once the bridge replacement is complete. The Small Bottleneck Program was designed to provide communities with both the funding and technical assistance to complete roadway improvement projects valued at or about $1 million that do not score high enough to qualify for federal funding, but would result in significant improvements for the local economy, quality of life, safety and/or commute times. This program supports MassDOT’s commitment that both small and large investments in transportation help leverage economic development and jobs. The replacement was previously anticipated to be Federal Aid funded through the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP); however, the project has never been programmed for construction.
"Replacement of the South Road Bridge has been identified as a major priority for Westhampton residents, and I am thrilled that the Administration was able to identify the funds to move the project forward to completion," said State Senator Benjamin B. Downing.
"I would like to thank the Secretary and the Administration for their ongoing support of infrastructure improvements in Western Mass," Representative Peter V. Kocot said. "I would also like to recognize the efforts and dedication of District 2 Highway Director Al Stegemann."
The bridge will be closed for construction and a detour will be implemented via Route 66, Southampton Road and Stage Road. The town has an Army Corps permit for the proposed bridge work.
“The Westhampton Selectboard wishes to thank all who contributed to make funding for this final step of the lengthy South Road project happen. Special thanks to Representative Peter Kocot for assisting us time and time again, when the project hit a snag,” said Selectman John F. Shaw, Jr. “Thanks also to Senator Downing, Highway Superintendent David Blakesley, former Highway Superintendent Richard W. Tracy, Huntley Associates and District 2 personnel who helped keep things moving forward and to MassDOT for the funding to build the bridge on our own.”