HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – After four long years, the Willimansett Bridge is finally scheduled to re-open. After unexpected delays early on, it’s expected to open back up a couple weeks before the July deadline, and on budget.
The bridge connects Cabot Street in Holyoke to Chicopee Street in Chicopee. It closed in 2011 for structural repairs, but construction stopped when the hired company went bankrupt. Last June Northern Construction was hired to finish the job.
“We were in shock. Tough timing and the economy was bad. We took another hit. Nobody worked on it for nine months. Things just went bad,” said Gennaro Santaniello at Capri Pizza.
Many of the businesses on either side rely on customers who are passing through and want quick service. Without a bridge, many of those customers chose alternate routes.
“During the week we’re a quick stop. On the weekends we’re more of a destination. People have time to come around. It’s convenience. People are in a hurry. We lost all the people going to work. Turnpike people going to Holyoke. Slowed us down,” said Gus Mathews at Al’s Diner.
Shawn Clark of Northern Construction told 22News they’re putting the finishing touches on the project, and they expect the bridge to open mid-June. The Department of Transportation approves the date.