Ceremony Friday for new Monroe Bridge Overlook

  • The new Monroe Bridge Overlook, as seen in July. Contributed photo/Franklin Regional Council of Governments

Staff Report
Published: 10/3/2019 6:57:49 PM
Modified: 10/3/2019 6:57:39 PM

MONROE — After years of work on local, regional, state and federal levels, the Monroe Selectboard is celebrating the creation of the new Monroe Bridge Overlook on Depot Street in a ceremony today at 10:30 a.m.

In addition to the Selectboard, participating in the celebration will be state Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru; Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Undersecretary for the Environment Dan Sieger; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) New England Project Officer James Byrne; and Peggy Sloan and Jessica Atwood of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG).

“I am excited to take part in a great celebration that represents the culmination of years of teamwork across many sectors of government,” Mark said. “Monroe is one of the smallest towns in the state, so obtaining funding for projects like this can be challenging in spite of being extremely important. I am very appreciative of the assistance provided by EEA and look forward to residents using this scenic new space for many years to come.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration was pleased to help the town of Monroe convert an environmental and public safety liability into a scenic overlook where people can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors,” Sieger said. “The Monroe Bridge Overlook is a great example of federal, state, regional, local and private partners all contributing to make an important local project possible.”

The small park was created on the site of the wood structure of the former Ramage Paper/Deerfield Specialty Paper Company. The site’s industrial heritage began in the 1880s with the original Ramage Paper Mill and continued for more than 100 years, according to the release.

However, after the mill closed in the 1990s and the building was abandoned, the deterioration of the wood structure was of particular concern for its potential to contaminate the Deerfield River. According to the release, because the site is located adjacent to the No. 5 Station Dam, which has scheduled water releases for rafting and kayaking purposes, and across from a major river access point, the structure’s condition was a concern to the outdoor recreation industry.

The Monroe Bridge Overlook project — which also involves the creation of a new park and retaining wall for Depot Street — was the result of work by multiple partners. In 2016, Monroe and FRCOG secured access to the site and had a hazardous building materials assessment completed on the wood structure.

Funding for hazardous material remediation came from grants from the EPA to the FRCOG Brownfields Program, the release states. Meanwhile, the EEA worked with the town to fund the demolition of the structure and to design, engineer and construct the park and the Depot Street retaining wall. TransCanada (now Great River Hydro) also helped with costs.

The celebration will take place at the overlook on Depot Street, though in the event of inclement weather, it will be moved into the Monroe Town Offices at 3C School St.


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261


Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy