Ludlow-Wilbraham bridge repairs scheduled

The Red Bridge runs over the Chicopee river and is a common route for travelers to get to and from Ludlow, Wilbraham and parts of Palmer.

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LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – The Red Bridge which connects Ludlow and Wilbraham may re-open soon to traffic after being closed for over a year.

The Red Bridge sits along East Street and Red Bridge Road, and runs over the Chicopee River.  It is a common route for drivers to get to and from Ludlow and parts of Wilbraham and Palmer.

In 2015, The Department of Public Works in Wilbraham were concerned that the bridge was deteriorating. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation was called in to inspect it and it was decided it needed to be closed for safety reasons, according to Ludlow’s DPW director J.T. Gaucher.

Funding has now been secured from the state to make the needed repairs.   That means Ludlow and Wilbraham will begin taking bids on the work starting in June. The cost of the project  is expected to be about $2.3 million, according to J.T. Gaucher, director of the Ludlow Department of Public Works.

Gaucher also told 22News, construction on the bridge is likely going to start in the Fall of 2016. The work on the bridge should be complete and have two lanes of traffic open by the end of 2017.

State Representative, Thomas Petrolati told 22News that aging infrastructure has been a growing problem throughout the state and nationwide over the last decade. He also said there was an urgency to get this bridge fixed because it is one of the most direct access routes to Wing Memorials hospital.

“Well the concerns are very simple. It’s always an inconvenience when a bridge is closed but now when you have a direct access to medical care it just facilitates the need and the necessity, ” said Petrolati.

Local business owners told 22News they are relieved the bridge will open once again. The Owner of Leo’s Glassworks, Dennis McCarthy, said the long time closure has not impacted his business, but that others up the road have lost a substantial amount.

“That will be much better for everybody, because like I said overall I know everybody will be happy because it is a huge inconvenience to go several miles out of the way in order to get where they got to go,” said McCarthy.

This work will be a bridge preservation project, but in about 8 to 10 years from now, this bridge will need to be totally replaced, according to Gaucher.

 

 

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