Earlier today, during an event at the Hopedale Housing Authority, Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development (EOHED) Secretary Mike Kennealy announced the award of a $1 million MassWorks grant to the Town of West Newbury to support the reconstruction of the Middle Street/Plummer Spring Road Bridge. The award was one of three grants announced today to support infrastructure projects in Hopedale, Gosnold and West Newbury. Local representation at today’s event included State Representative Lenny Mirra, Selectman Rick Parker and Town Manager Angus Jennings.
In August of this past year, the Town of West Newbury submitted a grant application to the highly competitive MassWorks Infrastructure Program to support reconstruction of the bridge, which was closed to vehicular traffic the previous summer following a failure in the spandrel wall. The grant was accompanied by nearly two dozen letters of support from local residents and officials including Mayor Donna Holaday of Newburyport. The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) received 92 applications requesting over $223 million. The award to West Newbury was one of a total of 36 successful applications in the 2019 grant round, and the $1 million award was for the maximum amount available for a single project.
“The West Newbury Board of Selectmen and its residents are deeply thankful for the Commonwealth’s $1 million MassWorks grant for the Plummer Spring Road/Middle Street Bridge. The award is absolutely critical to the communities’ ability to bring this important project to timely completion,” said Town Manager Angus Jennings. “The bridge is an important connection between West Newbury and Newburyport, which has been unavailable for nearly 18 months due to a structural failure and poses a substantial cost to both communities.”
West Newbury’s Board of Selectmen Chairman David Archibald added, “Working together paid off. The Town has secured major state MassWorks funding for the iconic bridge over the Artichoke between Newburyport and West Newbury. This is a big boost to maintaining our transportation infrastructure. The superb collaboration among Senator Bruce Tarr, Representative Lenny Mirra, Governor Charlie Baker, the city of Newburyport and the Town was key. Special thanks go to DPW Director Wayne Amaral and Town Manager Angus Jennings for putting the proposal together.”
The fact that the bridge crosses a drinking water supply adds substantial permitting requirements, costs and complexity. The design, survey, and engineering are on schedule to be completed in April of 2021. Construction is projected to start in August of 2021 with anticipated completion in May of 2022.
“With the bridge type selected, the project has been able to advance through preliminary design. The required 25% bridge structural design plans will be submitted to MassDOT in the next few weeks. BSC will then incorporate any MassDOT comments and advance the project into final design and permitting,” reported Structural Engineer of BSC Group, Micah Morrison, PE, SE.
Detailed information regarding the bridge project can be found on the DPW webpage at: https://www.wnewbury.org/department-public-works/pages/middle-streetartichoke-river-bridge
The Commonwealth's press release regarding today's grant award is online at: https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-announces-massworks-infrastructure-awards-totaling-28-million-to