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Construction work starts on Iron Bridge

SHELBURNE FALLS — Contractors will begin building a platform beneath the Iron Bridge this week, in preparation for work to replace steel components that were damaged during Tropical Storm Irene.

According to Massachusetts Department of Transportation spokesman Michael Verseckes, the platform-building should take about a week.

“During this time, traffic control will be handled by police officers,” he said. “We expect three to four parking spaces will need to be taken at the southwest corner of the bridge (in Buckland), so that equipment can reach the bridge.”

The platform is necessary so that workers can get underneath the bridge to take precise measurements of the steel components to be replaced.

Once the fabricated steel parts have been made, construction is expected to take about eight weeks. During that time, the bridge will be open for travel in both directions, although traffic will be reduced to one-lane, alternating travel for roughly four weeks. A traffic light will be set up for that purpose.

Verseckes said the project is expected to be completed by early June. The estimated $200,000 repair had originally been planned for last year. The bridge was constructed in 1890, and was flooded and battered by tree trunks during the flooding of the 2011 tropical storm.

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at: dbroncaccio@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 277

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