Two-way traffic could return to the bridge over the Miles River on Bridge Street as soon as Wednesday, according to a tentative project work schedule for this week.
Project contractors plan to have two lanes open on Bridge Street by the end of the day Wednesday, according to the project manager, Tim DeGuglielmo of Weston and Sampson.
There has been one-land traffic across the bridge since late summer while the culvert carrying the river under the road was being replaced. After both lanes are opened, National Grid still has work planned to relocate a gas main on the downstream side of the culvert on Friday. That work may take up a lane, so the bridge may temporarily return to a single lane on Friday until the National Grid work is complete.
The bridge over the Miles River on Bridge Street will be closed for eight hours on Saturday, Nov. 5.
A crane will move into place a few precast pieces as part of the culvert replacement project, which will mean the bridge will be closed from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, according to Hamilton police Lt. Scott Janes.
The crane work will complete the last section of the new culvert, according to Town Manager Michael Lombardo.
Bridge Street has is now open again to through traffic after a closure that lasted through last week.
The bridge, though, will remain open to just one lane of alternating traffic until the culvert replacement project is complete on the bridge over the Miles River. Temporary traffic lights will continue to control traffic from both directions across the bridge for about two weeks, until the project is complete.
The two accompanying photos show the new culvert being lowered into place last week, which prompted to complete closure. The new culvert replaces an old granite block culvert.
Some residents on the east side of Hamilton have reported discolored water after a water main was shut down as part of the construction project on the Miles River bridge.
The Hamilton Water Department has received several calls from residents on the east side of town reporting discolored water. It is recommended that anyone experiencing discolored water should flush an outside spigot until the water runs clear or let the system rest for several hours to allow sediment to settle and then run outside spigots to ensure the water is clear.
The Hamilton Water Department staff is assessing the situation to determine how to best respond, but the issues is related to repair work on the culvert under Bridge Street, which required shutting down a water main while construction was being completed.
“We apologize for the inconvenience, normal water service will return early next week,” said Town Manager Michael Lombardo. “Thank you for your patience.”
Bridge Street will be closed between Miles River Road and Bay Road (Route 1A) for the week of Oct. 10-14 while work is done on the bridge over the Miles River.
The road will be open to local traffic on each end but no traffic will be allowed to cross the bridge.
The decision to close the bridge for five days was announced on Monday after it was discovered that irregularly shaped stone boulders are supporting the bridge and removing them as part of a culvert replacement projects runs the risk of destabilizing the bridge.
Bridge Street is a major east-west route on the east side of Hamilton and a detour plan has been developed to reroute traffic either to the north or south of the bridge closure. A map of the detour routes is below.
To the north, traffic from the east will be directed to use Bridge Street to Sagamore Street and Moulton Street back to Bay Road (Route 1A) or that route, in reverse, for traffic coming from Route 1A.
To the south, traffic will be directed to use Walnut Road in Hamilton to Walnut Road in Wenham to Larch Row in Wenham and then on to Essex Street and Miles River Road in Hamilton.
Variable message sign boards and detour signs will be put up along the detour route too.
The bridge over the Miles River on Bridge Street will be closed for five days, starting on Columbus Day.
The project to replace the bridge’s old granite block culvert with a precast concrete box culvert began in July and was originally scheduled to be wrapped up by the end of September.
The bridge had been down to one-lane traffic for most of the project.
But the project took a dramatic turn last week as the contractor, UEL Contractors, Inc., was excavating the large rectangular granite retaining blocks to make way for the new culvert box to be installed. Workers found that the material used to support the bridge is irregularly shaped stone boulders that are cantilevered and interlocking, as seen in the attached pictures provided by Town Manager Michael Lombardo.
The project engineers said that removing the boulders will destabilize the bridge and likely cause the road to collapse. That led to the decision to close the bridge starting on Monday, Oct. 10 for five days. It is scheduled to reopen late in the day on Friday, Oct. 14.
The Hamilton Police Department is working with the contractor to develop a detour plan.
The project to replace the Miles River culvert under Bridge Street has been delayed by a way and is expected to get underway this week.
The contractor, UEL Contractors, Inc., was hoping to mobilize and start initial site work, including signs, and markouts, last week but the projects submittals were not in “approved” status so the project was revised to reflect the new expected start date, according to Hamilton DPW Director Bill Redford.
When the work gets going, the bridge on Bridge Street, between Miles River Road and Bay Road, will be down to one lane with alternating traffic controlled by a traffic light.