Housatonic bridge repair cost rises; July completion predicted

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GREAT BARRINGTON — When the condition of the Park Street Bridge in Housatonic deteriorated during repair work last spring, it upped the price tag by $600,000.

What the state Department of Transportation originally estimated as a $3.2 million job to bring one of Berkshire County's nearly 50 structurally deficient bridges back into good health will now cost an estimated $3.8 million.

MassDOT spokeswoman Judith Riley said the increase was due to the installation of the temporary bridge, one that kept traffic flowing through an important artery over the Housatonic River on Route 183 and Park Street.

Riley also said the project will be finished in July, three months later than the original completion date.

And that date is dependent on winter weather.

"The contractor plans on working as far into the winter as weather permits," Riley said.

In preparation for this, the bridge has been closed while workers removed the temporary bridge.

Work on the 47-year-old span has run up against one hassle after another for both the state and for commuters.

What began last year as a project to replace the bridge's superstructure and deck and to build new railings and sidewalks hit trouble when part of a deteriorated concrete beam dropped into the river.

The bridge had to be temporarily closed several times before the temporary bridge was installed.

A routine state inspection in 2015 found the 108-foot span structurally deficient, and rated its superstructure as being in "critical condition."

Heather Bellow can be reached at 413-329-6871, hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or @BE_hbellow


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