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Lanesborough Bridge Closed for Next Year
10:10PM / Friday, March 24, 2023
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The state has closed a second Berkshire County bridge because of structural issues. 
The 20-foot span on Bridge Street was ordered closed by the Department of Transportation at 9 a.m. on Friday, based on an inspection conducted Thursday that identified further structural issues and holes.
On Tuesday, the state ordered the Brown Street bridge in North Adams closed because of structural deficiencies. 
The steel girder bridge over Town Brook was built in 1945 and had most recently a deck rating of 3 and a superstructure rating of 5 and 6. 
Town Administrator Gina Dario said in a release on Friday that MassDOT had advised the town that the Bridge Street closure would continue until 2025 and the cost to replace it is estimated at $2.9 million.
She said MassDOT had confirmed that the design for the replacement of the bridge is nearly finished, however there are further items that will need to be completed before the repair work can begin.
The bridge is on the MassHighway project list at 100 percent design as of last August and is on the county's Transportation Improvement Plan for funding in fiscal 2025 through the federal Surface Transportation Block Grant. 
Construction is expected to begin late this year or early next year.
The existing three-span bridge will be replaced with a single span pre-stressed concrete box beam bridge on new abutments, according to the state. The roadway profile will remain relatively unchanged from existing conditions. A new sidewalk on one side of the bridge is proposed along with a share use vehicle/bicycle lane in both directions of travel. 
The bridge was posted with a six ton weight limit and the  northerly westbound lane had been closed because of holes in the pavement and concrete deck that had been covered by a steel plate.
Massachusetts has approximately 444 bridges classified as structurally deficient, according to the National Bridge Inventory, and has identified more than $15 billion in repairs for 4,901 spans. 
Massachusetts DOT was expected to invest more than $3 billion in repairing bridges, addressing more than one-third of the structurally deficient bridge backlog. Last year, it had initiated more 146 bridge repair or replacement projects on 181 bridge structures.
The town's Department of Public works will be working to ensure access is clear on the alternative roads. The town will continue to provide information as available.
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