New Marion St. Bridge will take Two Years to Complete
The entire process of design, community outreach, permitting and construction will also cost between $3-4 million.
The Marion St. Bridge has been closed since Aug. 14, inconveniencing many in Natick who normally utilize Marion St. to drive from Route 9 to South Natick and Natick Center.
After Natick officials contacted the Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Aug. 16 to request that they expedite the process, citing both, the importance of the Marion St. to commuter vehicles and its proximity to the central fire station, which makes it important for emergency response times, MassDOT responded to the Town of Natick on Sept. 29.
MassDOT explained the reasoning for closing the bridge, stating that they had found the "steel deck supports severely corroded. The settlement that was observed resulted from the steel supports being crushed under the weight of traffic. Based on this inspection, the deck was rated as 'Imminent Failure'. The Superstructure, or skeleton of the bridge (beams and girders), was also rated 'Poor' - either of which alone would deem the bridge 'Structurally Deficient'."
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The Marion St. Bridge was originally constructed in 1896, and underwent major rehabilitations in 1988 and 2002. Because of the age and condition of the bridge right now, MassDOT is recommending replacing the superstructure completely.
This "would address existing structural deficiencies, improve safety and provide a longer service life," MassDOT wrote. "This option would enable MassDOT to remove the weight load posting and increase the bridge load capacity to accomodate all emergency vehicles and school buses."
MassDOT has accelerated the project by initiating its approval by the MassDOT Project Review Committee. Their goal is to get the preliminary engineering and design process started this year. In the meantime, they are working with the Metropolitan Planning Organization to set priority for funding.
"We anticipate that this process, from design, to community outreach, to permitting and construction will take approximately two years and cost between three and four million dollars," MassDOT wrote.