General Pierce Bridge undergoing inspection

Bridge connects Greenfield and Montague

The General Pierce Bridge is seen here in a WWLP file image from May 2017.

MONTAGUE, Mass. (WWLP)  -The General Pierce Bridge in Montague, is in rough shape.

The road surface is bad and its structurally deficient.

“It’s pretty bumpy, it’s been patched up over a long period time,” said Carlos Heiligman of Rowe. “I think it needs a little bit of improvement.”

The General Pierce Bridge goes right over the Connecticut River, connecting the Franklin County towns of Greenfield and Montague. Many drivers use this bridge, about 20,000 cars go over this bridge every day. MassDOT began a week-long inspection of the 750 foot bridge Monday. Greenfield and Montague Police were reducing traffic to one lane in alternating directions. Montague’s been notifying the state about the bridge’s safety concerns for years.

“Every time a hole pops in the deck, we are left calling MassDOT and having them come out,” said Montague Police Chief Charles Dodge. “They do make the repairs very fast, the problem is these holes just keep popping up.”

Chief Dodge told 22News since it’s a state-owned bridge, and MassDOT will pay for the entire $18 million cost of the project. Once construction begins in the summer of 2020, MassDOT will rehabilitate the bridge and improve the bridge approaches, .

Chief Dodge said the state will now be inspecting the General Pierce Bridge twice a year because of its condition. The bridge will be reduced to alternating one way traffic from 8am to 4pm for the rest of the week.