Housatonic -– The state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has issued an estimated timeline for installing a temporary bridge to carry traffic travelling on Route 183 (Park Street) over the Housatonic River while the existing bridge remains closed to all vehicular traffic:
- Thursday, April 20: Receive full design plans and drawings for the temporary bridge.
- Friday, April 21: Remove approach slabs to the existing bridge and begin installing concrete foundations. Concrete foundations will be completed over the weekend.
- Monday, April 24: Begin delivery of bridge components and the bridge assembly and installation process. MassDOT crews and contractors will work 24 hours per day until the bridge is fully assembled and installed.
- Thursday, April 27: Bridge installation complete.
- Friday, April 28: Begin installing roadway approaches and conducting grading and paving operations.
- Week of Monday, May 1: Expected opening of temporary bridge to vehicular traffic.
The existing bridge will remain open to pedestrian traffic only throughout these operations and the temporary bridge is expected to be open to traffic by the beginning of May. MassDOT says it will continue to update the public as it implements this phase of the project and that crews will work “24/7” to complete installation of the temporary bridge.
The department says the 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 $3.4 million project to replace the bridge.
The scope of work for the 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 has been implemented that includes variable message boards to inform the public. The signed detour uses Routes 7, 102 and 183 in the towns of Great Barrington and Stockbridge. Those traveling through the area should expect delays, reduce their speeds, and use caution.
MassDOT advises motorists to seek alternate routes between Great Barrington, Housatonic and Stockbridge on Route 183 at this time.
A concrete beam, apparently while being prepared for removal, fell into the Housatonic River, leaving a chasm of three feet or more running the length of the southern lane of the bridge, which had already been closed to traffic for previously scheduled reconstruction.
MassDOT announced last week that it will build a temporary bridge across the Housatonic River while the primary bridge is being reconstructed.
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; and visit 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.
The curious can follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions. You can also download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.