State reopens both lanes of Bay Road bridge


Staff Writer
Thursday, October 19, 2017

HADLEY — Two-way traffic is again passing over a Bay Road bridge that has been reduced to one lane since February 2016.

With the work on its piers complete, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Oct. 12 fully reopened the bridge over the Fort River, removing the traffic signals that have allowed alternating east and west traffic to use one lane of the bridge.

As the project to stabilize the timber pilings progressed, the state removed weight limits that restricted heavy vehicles over 3 tons.

MassDOT spokesman Patrick Marvin said pavement, guardrail and drainage work remain to be done this fall.

“This work is expected to be completed over the next few weeks and could require temporary lane closures and traffic impacts as materials are delivered and installed,” Marvin said.

The bridge work has caused some delays, with periodic backups on both Bay and Lawrence Plain roads. The project was supposed to be done in a few months, but the pilings were in worse shape than expected.

Constructed in 1935, the bridge is slated for a complete rebuild. The $5.7 million bridge replacement project is anticipated to be advertised by MassDOT in 2020.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.