MassDOT Approves $1 Million for East Street Bridge Repair
State Senators Eric P. Lesser and Anne Gobi, along with Representative Thomas Petrolati, announced that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has approved $1,000,000 in state and federal money for the repair of the East Street Bridge, connecting the towns of Wilbraham and Ludlow. “This funding is great news for the people of Ludlow, and is the first step toward re-opening this vital roadway," Senator Eric P. Lesser said. “I will continue to work diligently with MassDOT to ensure that the necessary safety repairs are made to the bridge.”
“I was happy to work with Senator Lesser to advocate for the inclusion of these funds in the Transportation Improvement Plan,” Senator Anne M. Gobi (D-Spencer) said. “This bridge is an essential route connecting residents of Palmer to the closest hospital in the area. MassDOT has been incredibly helpful through this process and I look forward to working with them and area legislators to make certain that the East Street Bridge can be travelled on safely again.”
A letter sent by Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack dated July 1 came within weeks of a meeting facilitated by Sens. Lesser and Gobi and Rep. Petrolati.
The legislators emphasized that the bridge serves as a crucial route to Wing Memorial Hospital in Palmer and connects residents in Ludlow, Wilbraham and Palmer to the MassPike and the greater Springfield area. The bridge has been closed since late March due to safety concerns, detouring residents seven miles.
“I would like to thank the Baker Administration as well as Secretary Pollack for recognizing the public safety issue of this project,” said Rep. Petrolati (D-Ludlow), who helped organize the meeting. “While in a meeting with Secretary Pollack my major emphasis was the urgency of this bridge repair because of the direct access to Wing Memorial Hospital. This has been the overwhelming concern of my constituents, and I am pleased that it was addressed as expeditiously as it was.”
Funding for the bridge will come from the state’s Transportation Improvement Program. The project design will begin this year, with the goal of advertising the project in late 2016, according to Secretary Pollack.
The bridge repair project is subject to approval by the Federal Highway Administration and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.