by Glenn C. Koenig, webmaster at Town Wide Mall
A Bridge to ... Florida?
“We should expect the bridge to be completed some time this fall,” Public Works Director Justin DeMarco told me, when I talked with him recently. Surprisingly, the town is not managing the rebuild. When it comes to bridge construction, the town turns over ownership of the bridge to the state. The state (aka The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Highway Division, Municipal Small Bridge Program) hires the contractors and manages all construction. When the job is completed, the state returns ownership of the new bridge to the town. The entire project will take about two years of work, from start to finish. “That’s actually pretty good,” DeMarco told me. Bridge projects often took double that in the past.
Up until the late 1960s, many people and industries often treated rivers as giant sewage canals and dumped all kinds of hazardous and foul effluent into them. After the famous Cuyahoga River fire of 1969 ( https://www.nps.gov/articles/story-of-the-fire.htm ), attitudes towards rivers began to change. There are now many federal and state laws and regulations in place to protect them.
Bridges can last for 100 years if properly designed and built. The Florida Road bridge that was removed was built in 1915, so it was clearly due for replacement. Now the goal is to build this new bridge well enough to last for the next 100 years.
The Town’s Web site has more detailed information regarding the project: https://www.townofmaynard-ma.gov/316/Florida-Road-Bridge-Project