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Iron Bridge to get fixes this summer

SHELBURNE FALLS — The 1910-built Iron Bridge took a beating during Tropical Storm Irene, when the swollen Deerfield River washed over the roadway and whole tree trunks hit the bridge’s underside like battering rams.

But the state Department of Transportation has announced plans to make bridge repairs this summer, for an estimated $200,000.

MassDOT spokesman Michael Verseckes said inspection work will begin in early July, with platforms to be installed beneath the bridge, “so that engineers can take precise measurements of the damaged steel.”

Verseckes said analysis of the damage may take up to two months, but once the full scope is known, construction could start by late August.

Once work begins, one sidewalk will be closed during work hours only. Although two travel lanes will be open most of the time, travel will be reduced to one lane of alternating traffic during delivery of materials.

He said both travel lanes and sidewalks will be open on nights and weekends.

Besides carrying pedestrians and traffic, the Iron Bridge is also the setting for the Iron Bridge Dinner and the Bridge of Flowers Road Race in August. Verseckes said MassDOT is working with the towns to avoid disruptions during planned events.

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