Winnetuxet Road, Plympton, residents have been seeing activity at the site of their beloved bridge with engineers taking test borings to determine the status of the material on which the bridge is built. Is this the first sign of things to come?
A couple of years ago surveyors and engineers worked the area, flagging trees along both sides of Winnetuxet and Elm, as the first steps toward a bridge project. Then residents were told the project had been put on hold. They’re back.
Highway Surveyor Rob Firlotte told The Express on Monday that this project would use grant funds in the area of $2.2 million from TIP, Transit Improvement Projects.
Firlotte said that work on the bridge is needed because vibration from vehicle traffic is shaking its foundations and even causing the bolts holding down the planking to come loose. He said that in 2002, the bridge stringers and decking were replaced. A concrete water control pad was poured and the decking refastened in 2017. The superstructure (underpinning) was repaired and the current guardrails were installed in 2019.
“It’s basically in the testing phase now,” Firlotte said of the new bridge project. It is his understanding that the proposed bridge would have two lanes with a sidewalk along one side. He also said that this is very preliminary and that plans haven’t yet been drawn to his knowledge. Once the work progresses, Firlotte said that residents will have an opportunity to express their views on the project’s design.
As for the Ferguson Bridge on Route 58 near the junction of Winnetuxet Road, Firlotte said that project is slated to begin this Spring. Grant funding of $150,000 was awarded to the town for the repair some time ago and now the project will proceed.