MassDOT approves Orange bridge replacement contract, extends deadline on second project

  • The bridge that carries Route 2 over Route 202 in Orange is slated for repair by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • The deck of the bridge that carries Route 2 over Route 202 in Orange is a patchwork of repairs. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • The bridge that carries Route 2 over Route 202 in Orange, shown from below, is slated for repair by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • The closed East Road bridge in Orange is slated for repair. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • The closed East Road bridge in Orange is slated for repair. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 7/6/2020 2:06:16 PM
Modified: 7/6/2020 2:06:13 PM

ORANGE — There have been recent developments in two bridge projects in town.

The state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has given the town another year and a half to replace its East Road bridge, and the same agency’s board of directors has approved the contract to replace the one it controls on Route 2 over Route 202.

East Road

Orange Highway Superintendent Colin Killay said the town has until Dec. 30, 2021, to replace the roughly 10-foot wooden-deck bridge with an asphalt surface on East Road that some say is “out in the middle of noplace.” The bridge connects North Orange to Route 2A and the rest of town.

The town initially secured a $420,000 grant through the Baker-Polito Administration’s Municipal Small Bridge Program, and Killay said he successfully petitioned MassDOT for an extra $80,000.

Killay explained “the bridge is pretty close to 100 percent designed,” but the town is running into some issues pertaining to the dredging of the stream bed. He said this entails removing material such as sand and gravel from the stream bed to install the bridge’s footings and pilings. The volume of material and the process of keeping out water has resulted in the project being more time-consuming than originally anticipated.

MassDOT ordered the bridge be closed following an inspection about five years ago, Killay said. Grant money and a contract with the Tighe & Bond engineering, design and environmental consulting firm were in place in the spring of 2018, and Town Administrator Gabriele Voelker predicted the work would be completed by the fall or winter of that year.

Route 2

As for the Route 2 bridge over Route 202, Orange opted to award the project to E.T.& L. Corp. of Stow for $15.1 million — the lowest of three bids received. The work is expected to cost $18.1 million once contingencies, construction engineering and traffic police detail are factored in. Eighty percent of the project will be paid for with federal money, while state funding will finance the remainder.

According to a MassDOT press release, the bridge is structurally deficient and the replacement process, expected to last three years, will consist of three stages of construction that always provide one lane of traffic in each direction. The bridge will also be widened by about 23 feet to address deterioration.

The project will begin at the limit of the previous Route 2 reconstruction project — approximately 2,280 feet west of the bridge and to roughly 640 feet east of it. According to MassDOT, there will also be about 480 feet of milling and overlay on Route 2 and approximately 650 feet of it on Route 202.

Company Vice President Kerry Maynard said E.T.& L. Corp. has a 1,216-day contract to complete the work, but is waiting on a notice to proceed from MassDOT. The contract period does not begin until then, she said.

Maynard said the work on Route 2 will include a lane to allow for acceleration and deceleration at the interchange, and there will also be pedestrian and bicycle lane improvements on Route 202.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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