Gill-Montague bridge reopens
CORRECTION:The Turners Falls-Gill Bridge, which reopened to two-way traffic on Friday after 3 1/2 years of reconstruction, is a truss bridge, not a suspension bridge as stated in a correction in Monday’s paper.
CORRECTION: The official name is the Turners Falls-Gill Bridge. Under renovation work since 2010, construction of this suspension bridge was started in 1937 and finished in 1938.
For the first time since spring 2010, the Gill-Montague bridge is open to two-way traffic.
The steel span across the Connecticut River connecting downtown Turners Falls to the vital Route 2 traffic artery has been open one-way only during 3½ years of construction. But cars were driving in both lanes Friday afternoon, confirmed Montague Police.
A Department of Transportation spokesman said last month the bridge would likely reopen to two-way traffic around this time. The state is paying $40.7 million for wider travel lanes, remodeled approaches, increased bicycle access and repairs to the steel bridge, built in 1937.
It’s welcome news for business owners who have long complained that the construction has affected sales. While motorists could turn off Route 2 and easily drive into Turners Falls, they would then be faced with a long and potentially confusing detour back to the highway through Greenfield.