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Fountain Street Bridge To Open Monday Evening

After a 2 month delay, the Fountain Street Bridge was set to open this week; now weather delays have pushed it back to Monday evening, Nov. 21.

The Fountain Street Bridge is expected to open by the end of the day Monday, Nov. 21.

The opening has been delayed by almost two months. Last week, it was announced the bridge would open on Wednesday. It did not. A safety rail still needs to be installed. Weather delayed its installation this week.

"For safety reasons, all work must be completed on the bridge rail prior to the opening of the bridge. The contractor is continuing with this installation and it is anticipate the bridge will be open by the end of the day Monday. If at all possible once this work is completed we will open the bridge sooner, but for now Monday at the end of the day is what we are looking at for an opening," said Michael Verseckes, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Thursday evening.

Originally, the state had wanted to close the bridge over the CMX and MBTA railroads in May, but agreed to delay the project until the day after Framingham Public Schools closed. The last day of school was June 22.

The delay "eliminated the potential safety issues created by implementation of the detour occuring during the school year and lessen the future negative impacts as all who currently use this route will be aware of the nuances of travelling he detour route both a time and logistical standpoint prior to the school starting in the Fall," wrote Mass DOT in a letter in the spring.

Barbieri Elementary School is located less than a half mile from the Fountain Street Bridge.

On Wednesday this week, when Barbieri Elementary dismissed students just after 3 p.m., there was a backup from Fountain Street almost to where buses exit from the driveway on Dudley Road. There also was a backup on Winter Street heading towards Route 135, back to almost Ardmore Road.

On any given morning there is a huge backup on Route 135 trying to turn on to Winter Street in both directions. At the same time there is a gridlock on many evenings at the intersection of Fountain and Winter, so bad at times a police detail is needed.

The construction project was scheduled to take 97 days and cost about $2 million.

Donald Wendt November 17, 2011 at 11:14 PM
Thank goodness!!! What am I going to do with all this extra time not sitting in traffic?
Scott Wadland November 18, 2011 at 02:38 PM
So, on Tuesday when it was reported that the bridge would open on Wednesday, nobody realized that they weren't done and that it would be four more days before it was ready to open? Did the media not check with the state, or is the state so bad at project management that their estimation of the remaining work was off by a factor of four? And does anyone buy the story that "weather delayed its installation this week"? Do these folks not work in the rain or when the temperature drops below 40 degrees F?
Susan Petroni November 18, 2011 at 05:33 PM
Scott: As someone who lives near the bridge and drives by it daily, I understand your frustration. Framingham Patch reported on Wednesday in our 5 things column, based on a statement from the state it would re-open on Wednesday. (http://framingham.patch.com/articles/5-things-you-need-to-know-today-nov-16-37676867) At 8 a.m., we had already updated our followers here, on Facebook and Twitter that it was NOT open as of 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Again, we updated followers that as of 3 p.m.it was again not open. Yesterday, we talked to the state around 4 p.m. and was told it may open on Friday (tomorrow) but just before 6 p.m. we were provided with a newer update, on which our article was based, that it would not open until Monday evening ...
Scott Wadland November 18, 2011 at 06:00 PM
Thanks for the clarification Susan, I figured that you were reporting the best information you had at the time, which is all the more concerning given that the state was saying right up until the last minute that the bridge would open on Wednesday, then they say" oops, sorry, we're not quite ready yet". As someone who works in project management, if I did that to our customers I would very quickly be out of a job!


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