Framingham Selectmen unanimously voted to table approval of a Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) plan to close both the and the at the same time this fall. The bridges would be closed for 6-8 months, minimum, creating a nightmare for motorists.
Selectmen said they want to meet with MassDOT representatives to explain their bridge program in detail, before voting to approve the projects.
As of yesterday, June 19 the MassDOT has no plans to conduct a meeting about the bridge over the dam but has a public hearing is scheduled for July 26 to talk about the railroad bridge at Winter and Fountain streets.
Selectmen were surprised to hear Winter Street might be closed for such a long period of time.
“How did we get here?” asked Selectman Dennis Giombetti.
Selectmen has asked MassDOT to consider the historic significance of the bridge and the neighborhood, when fixing the bridge.
The project currently proposed by MASSDOT is a major construction project,that will disrupt traffic for an extended period of time.
“This is going to significantly affect the neighborhood,” said Giombetti.
Selectmen Chair Charles Sisitsky said MassDOT did not have any discussions with town leaders before planning this highly invasive construction project.
The bridges are municipally owned and the DOT is asking for Framingham Selectmen to secure all rights of access, so the State can start the construction project.
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Restoration has granted MassDOT access to the town so the state can come in and work on the bridge repairs.
MASSDOT said last year's so that the traffic from Winter Street could be routed while the bridge construction in underway. The project began in June and was to have finished in September. The bridge did not re-open until almost Thanksgiving.