New Holtshire Road bridge opens in Orange

  • The Holtshire Road bridge over the Millers River in Orange has been replaced. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • The Holtshire Road bridge over the Millers River in Orange has been replaced. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • The Holtshire Road bridge over the Millers River in Orange has been replaced. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 9/29/2021 4:18:50 PM
Modified: 9/29/2021 4:18:53 PM

ORANGE — The new Holtshire Road bridge opened last week, though there might be additional delays or road closures in the future for utility work and minor alterations, according to Orange’s town website.

Initial construction to replace the bridge began in 2018 and the project was in its final phase by January 2020. The bridge carries Holtshire Road over the Millers River, providing a route from Route 2A toward Lake Mattawa, or to nearby Wendell via West Orange Road. The structure was built in 1937 and had been due for replacement since 2017.

The roughly $5 million project was funded by the Franklin Transportation Improvement Program, a combination of state and federal money that comes to the region annually through the state Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

Colin Killay, Orange’s superintendent of highway, cemeteries and parks, said the new bridge has steel beams supporting a concrete deck with asphalt pavement, with a 10-foot lane and a 2-foot shoulder in each direction. There is also a 5½-foot sidewalk on the west side. Killay said the bridge can accommodate vehicles 9 feet or shorter due to the nearby railroad trestle.

“I’m happy,” Killay said of the new bridge.

Attendees of a 2016 Special Town Meeting voted in favor of easements allowing for the replacement project to move forward. Five temporary and five permanent easements were approved, with the landowners agreeable to the project. Until last week, the bridge had been closed to traffic ever since, with a detour in place.

“It’s a positive thing it’s open,” Killay said, adding that residents in Warwick, where he lives, have also commented on it.

Killay said the bridge would have opened four or five days sooner than it did, but the state had to wait for the rain to subside before painting the lines on the roadway.

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


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