Skinny Bridge in Westhampton temporarily closed

Crews testing strength of bridge

WESTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The “Skinny Bridge” on Kings Highway in Westhampton will remain closed through Thursday as crews continue to examine its condition before beginning construction in 2020.

The bridge was supposed to be closed until Wednesday evening. It carries Kings Highway over the Manhan River. The bridge is old, and needs to be replaced.

Construction was scheduled from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. During that time, crews did preliminary work, including testing the strength of the bridge. No access to the bridge was available during the closure, even for emergency vehicles.

This is the start of a longer term construction project to replace the bridge. The “Skinny Bridge” is structurally deficient and needs to be repaired, according to Highway Superintendent David Blakesley and MassDOT.

The bridge was closed Wednesday, as crews bored “test holes, which are needed to design the bridge’s replacement. The 10-foot wide bridge is so narrow, it can only accommodate one car at a time.

“It will be nice to have a two lane bridge so cars don’t have to take turns going over it, and stop and wait for the somebody in the other direction,” said Blakesley. “It will be the biggest benefit.”

The bridge was suppose to reopen Thursday, but they discovered it needed additional work. Blakesley told 22News the 10-foot wide bridge is too narrow for the town’s plow trucks, which are 11-feet wide.

The construction is expected to begin in 2020.