More small bridge grant money for our area

Massachusetts State House. (WNG File Photo)

SOUTHWICK – On Wednesday, the Baker-Polito Administration held a ceremony at the Massachusetts State House in Boston regarding the $16 million that was awarded to 36 communities for the Municipal Small Bridge Program.

Along with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack and Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin announced the grants to all the cities and towns.

Southwick DPW Director Randy Brown was in attendance for the ceremony and he believes the town could get up to $500,000 from this grant.

Brown was pleased with the grant opportunities that the Baker-Polito Administration was able to provide money to communities like Southwick.

“They all recognize the need for these types of funding opportunities for local towns,” said Brown. “Any means that they can help assist in those efforts is greatly appreciated.”

The $50 million Municipal Small Bridge Program was first signed into law on August 10, 2016 to help preserve or replace municipally-owned small bridges.

The surrounding towns of Blandford, Chesterfield, Huntington, Tolland, and Worthington also received money from this grant program.

The Municipal Small Bridge Program is important for Southwick as Shurtleff Brook on North Loomis St. is a deteriorating bridge in town that needs to be replaced.

The new bridge will be 19 ft. long and 32 ft. wide. The upgrade in size will be able to accommodate two travel lanes when passing through the bridge on North Loomis St.

Moving forward, Brown said that the town needs to solicit proposals for engineering work before any construction begins on replacing the bridge with a new one.

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