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Covered bridge restoration begins

  • The  Pumping Station covered bridge over the Green River in Greenfield will be lifted off its damaged abutments, and set on land nearby during repair of the bridge and its abutments.  Recorder/Paul Franz

    The Pumping Station covered bridge over the Green River in Greenfield will be lifted off its damaged abutments, and set on land nearby during repair of the bridge and its abutments. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

  • The  Pumping Station covered bridge over the Green River in Greenfield will be lifted off its damaged abutments, and set on land nearby during repair of the bridge and its abutments.  Recorder/Paul Franz

    The Pumping Station covered bridge over the Green River in Greenfield will be lifted off its damaged abutments, and set on land nearby during repair of the bridge and its abutments. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

  • The  Pumping Station covered bridge over the Green River in Greenfield will be lifted off its damaged abutments, and set on land nearby during repair of the bridge and its abutments.  Recorder/Paul Franz
  • The  Pumping Station covered bridge over the Green River in Greenfield will be lifted off its damaged abutments, and set on land nearby during repair of the bridge and its abutments.  Recorder/Paul Franz

GREENFIELD — Repair and restoration of the town’s 42-year-old covered bridge, which was torn from its abutments by Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011 and has since been teetering on them, has begun, and the federal government has pledged to pay for 60 percent of the cost.

Mayor William Martin, who said he wanted the bridge restored when he was first elected two years before Irene, said the bridge will be open to pedestrians and light vehicular traffic when work has been completed, sometime in the fall.

“We will have our bridge back,” said Martin.

The bridge will be lifted from its abutments and set in the nearby parking lot at the Eunice Williams Drive pumping station while it is being restored, said Martin.

The state Department of Transportation required that it be moved to dry land, instead of being repaired where it is.

At the same time, work will be done to shore up the abutments, he said. They will be reinforced with concrete.

Martin said work will cost about $1 million. FEMA will pay about $600,000 of the cost.

The rest, about $400,000, will come out of the town’s Chapter 90 state road aid of which the town typically receives between $600,000 and $700,000 a year.

Ten bids were received in December and the lowest was in line with the engineering estimate. E.T.&L. Corp. of Stow is doing the work.

The town talked for many years about giving the bridge, which used to accommodate both vehicle and foot traffic, a facelift, but never made it a priority.

In 2002, the bridge closed to vehicular traffic after the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials had listed it as structurally deficient and in poor overall condition.

In 1972, the town built the bridge, which replaced a 100-year-old covered bridge that had been destroyed by a fire set by vandals three years before on Halloween night in 1969.

The entire site is included in the Historical Marker database and the Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission Markers series.

The pumping station was once a popular spot for swimming, fishing and picnicking.

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