Orange gets Small Bridge project money

Recorder Staff
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

ORANGE — A bridge on East Road spanning West Brook has received state funding for future replacement.

The bridge will be replaced through a $420,000 state grant from the Baker-Polito Administration’s Small Bridge Program. Orange’s portion is part of a $5.2 million initiative awarded for small bridge projects in 12 communities statewide, according to a recent statement.

“Even though these bridges are small, they are important links within these communities,” said state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack. “Thanks to the leadership of Governor (Charlie) Baker and Lt. Governor (Karyn) Polito, MassDOT is continuing to coordinate with municipalities to improve transportation infrastructure and ensure residents have access to reliable travel options and do not have to navigate long detour routes because these bridges are taken out of service.”

In order to be eligible to receive funding through the Small Bridge Program, a bridge must be municipally owned and at a high risk for full or partial closure in the near future without repairs or replacement. Bridges can’t be eligible for federal aid under existing programs.

According to the statement, the Small Bridge Program “is a need and merit based program that seeks to fund those applications that demonstrate a critical need or substantially extend the life of an existing small bridge that is between ten and twenty feet in length. Projects are evaluated according to a strict set of eligibility criteria that consider the condition, benefits, and repair status of each bridge.”

Since the program started in Aug. 2016, a total of approximately $21.2 million has been awarded to state municipalities.

Elsewhere in Franklin County, Shelburne received $300,000 to replace a bridge on Bassett Road over Dragon Brook.

In Worcester County, Blackstone received $198,500 to preserve a bridge on Elm Street; Hubbardston received $425,000 to preserve bridges on Williamsville Road and Ragged hill Roads near Natty Pond Brook and Templeton Brook; Leicester received $500,000 to replace a bridge on Lawrence Street over Bush Pond; and North Brookfield received $485,000 to replace a bridge on Cider Mill Road over Coys Brook.