MassDOT to build temporary Route 183 bridge; existing bridge to remain closed

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By Sunday, Apr 16 News
Terry Cowgill
MassDOT has now closed the Route 183 (Park Street) bridge over the Housatonic River, shown above looking west toward the village of Housatonic, until a temporary bridge can be installed.

Housatonic – In the evolving saga of the damaged Park Street (Route 183) bridge, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has now determined that it will build a temporary bridge across the Housatonic River while the primary bridge is being reconstructed. But until the temporary bridge is in place by the beginning of May the busy crossing of the Housatonic River will be closed to vehicular traffic, although open to pedestrians.

In a statement issued Saturday, April 15, MassDOT affirmed that “the Route 183, (Park Street), Bridge over the Housatonic River in Great Barrington will remain closed to all vehicular traffic and MassDOT personnel and contractors will put in place a temporary bridge in order to minimize the impact on the traveling public.”

The day before (Friday, April 14), MassDOT had closed the bridge to vehicular traffic after discovering additional deterioration to the structure.

The MassDOT statement continued: “The existing bridge will remain open to pedestrian traffic throughout these operations and the temporary bridge is expected to be open to traffic by the beginning of May. MassDOT will continue to update the public as it implements this traffic accommodation.

The existing Route 183 bridge, looking east. Photo: Terry Cowgill

The existing Route 183 bridge, looking east. Photo: Terry Cowgill

“This decision to close the existing bridge and put in place a temporary bridge is necessary to ensure public safety as MassDOT discovered additional deterioration and bridge beam movement during its extensive evaluation process as part of the ongoing construction project on the bridge. The scope of work for this project consists of removing the existing bridge superstructure and replacing with a new superstructure complete with new bridge railing, sidewalks, deck, and prestressed concrete beams.

A Traffic Management Plan is implemented which includes variable message boards to inform the public. The signed detour utilizes Route 7, Route 102 and Route 183 in towns of Great Barrington and Stockbridge. Those traveling through the area should expect delays, reduce speed, and use caution.

MassDOT advises motorists to seek alternate routes between Great Barrington – Housatonic District and Stockbridge on Route 183 at this time.

For more information on traffic conditions travelers are also encouraged to:

  • Dial 511 before heading out onto the roadways and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
  • Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, access to traffic cameras, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions
  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

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