UPDATE // MassDEP spokesperson Kathleen Fournier told 22News on Thursday, the Release Abatement Measure plan was “prepared to address the management of potentially contaminated soils that may be generated during construction activities related to the bridge replacement.”
WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Mayor Don Humason released an update to the Cowles Bridge project in Westfield Tuesday.
According to the mayor, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental (MassDEP) approved that the work on Southwick Road can resume. Mayor Humason indicated he asked Lt. Governor Karyn Polito last Thursday for help to expedite the work.
A meeting was held Monday with the MassDOT District 2 in Northampton, MassDOT Environmental Compliance, MassDOT’s Licensed Site Professional Consultant, and the MassDEP Western Regional Office after the revised Release Abatement Measure plan from the E.T. & L. Construction Corporation was received by the District.
MassDEP approved the revised environmental permitting documentation and work was allowed to resume in the area of concern Tuesday. 22News contacted the MassDEP Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup for additional information and waiting to hear back.
The contractor has been working on test pit excavations for utility locations that last couple of weeks. Additional work is schedule to begin with the temporary relocation of the water main and installing excavation support. The contractor was awarded the $14.8 million five-year project in August 2020 to replace the bridge over Little River on Southwick Road. The design and construction of the project are funded by MassDOT.
The bridge was originally built in 1916, with the superstructure reconstructed in 1951, and temporary repairs made in 1995.
Cowles Bridge Replacement
This project replaces Cowles Bridge carrying Southwick Road (Routes 10/202) over the Little River. It includes a realignment and widening of Southwick Road to provide turning lanes at City View Road and Mill Street. The City View Road traffic signal will be replaced, and a new traffic signal will be added at the intersection of Mill Street. Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2020.
Mill Street – South Maple Street – Crane Avenue Intersection Improvements
This project is an extension to the improvements related to the Cowles Bridge Replacement Project. It includes safety improvements to both intersections via road realignment, as well as visual improvements such as new pocket parks acting as gateway entrances into Downtown Westfield and the associated neighborhoods. The project is currently under design. Construction will be determined at a later date.