"It was in complete disrepair," said Chris McGown, Clinton's Director of Public Works.
Fortunately, stimulus was able to fund a new bridge with a $3.5 million award from the Federal Highway Administration. It is a project that has pleased virtually everyone in this town in Central Massachusetts.
Recovery Act Impact: Water Street Bridge in Clinton
"Everywhere you go in this town, people are talking about it," said Michael Ward, Clinton town administrator. "Everyone is happy with it."
The former bridge was nearly 90 years old and was showing its age. Both Ward and McGown said the bridge had serious structural problems. McGown said that the sidewalks were worn through, with some sections completely missing and for years, Jersey barriers lined its sides. More significantly, one of the beams under the bridge had eroded so badly that it was barely sitting on the abutment. The town had to build new support but the bridge was still in danger of being closed. The bridge connects a section of Clinton to its downtown area but more importantly, it connects
When the stimulus program was announced, this shovel-ready project was already on the Transportation Improvement Project list. "Stimulus expedited the project," said McGown. "Rather than the bridge being closed down, it got the construction going much quicker. We have a bridge much sooner than we would have."
McGown also pointed out that thanks to stimulus funding the bridge, which runs over the Nashua River, other transportation improvement projects can now get done. "This will speed up future projects in the town," said McGown.
"Everyone says how beautiful it is," says Ward of the new bridge. "It's been great for the community. It's funny how a bridge can make such an impact on a community."