As for the bridge itself, there is not much going on structurally. A few have asked about the plywood that is alongside the bridge. This has been installed so when they start the demolition of the bridge, it will stop any debris from falling into the Manhan River. Traffic will still be one lane at times during the intersection and utility line work that is going on.
Note that the bridge WILL NOT CLOSE until the intersection work is completed.
They are estimating early June for the bridge to officially close to traffic. We will be sending out notices as soon as we receive word of the date. There will also be electronic message boards going up at least two weeks prior to the closure.
Temporary Pedestrian Bridge
The temporary bridge was installed on 5/1/13 as scheduled. The crews were able to have the bridge assembled and in place well ahead of the 5:30 pm deadline they had anticipated. The traffic that day was very congested, as work on O'Neill continued at the same time, but they had Northampton Street/the bridge back open to traffic around 3:15 pm that day.
|Easthampton - Pedestrian Bridge Installation 5-1-13 Manhan Bridge - MassDOT - Northern Construction|
Now that the temporary bridge is installed, the crews are working to move the water, gas and remaining communications lines onto the temporary bridge in preparation for the Manhan Bridge demolition.
On Monday, 5/13/13, they will be shutting off the water just around the bridge (it should ONLY affect the immediate vicinity of the bridge and possibly Mill Street but not beyond West Street or DPW yard) for a few hours as they cut off the line across the Manhan Bridge and connect to the temporary bridge. This will cause traffic to be down to one lane during the day. This process should be completed by the end of the day.
Once the water line is done, they will start the process of adding the temporary gas lines. This process takes a little longer than the water line. The assembly alone will take about a week, as they have a strict process to make sure there are no leaks in the line.
West Street Intersection Work
The West Street Intersection is pretty close to completion.
The intersection lights are being installed today (5/10/13) and will be flashing soon as they get ready for the bridge closure.
They will be finished with this intersection in just a week or less of this posting. They will be painting lines and setting up the intersection to be in operation for the bridge closure.
As you see in the video above, the curbs have been installed and a temporary pavement has been put down.
Note that this is NOT the final look of the intersection. They want to tie in all of the new blacktop once the bridge itself is completed. In other words, once the bridge is completed, there will be a complete surface of new pavement from around the DPW yard, across the bridge, to the West Street intersection and several hundred feet up Northampton Street.
Northampton & O'Neill Street Intersection
While this work has been a cause of the biggest slowdown in traffic heading into or out of Easthampton, it is close to completion.
As of today (5/10/13), the crews are there putting in the blacktop section of sidewalks on each side of the streets. They will be pouring the handicapped ramp section in the next week.
All of the internal work as far as the road itself (installation of loops and traffic signals) has been completed.
There are still two or three poles that are holding up the final paving piece to this project. We are sure you have noticed the poles that are original and seem like they are now in the road. They include cable, phone and fiber that need to be removed. Once those poles are removed, the entire section will be paved with a final coat. This should not take more than a couple of days including the painting of the lines.
As with West Street, this intersection needs to be completed BEFORE the bridge is closed and the official detours start.
This new intersection and the lights will be permanent once completed.