What Is The Status Of The Brown Street/Whipple Road Bridge Project?

Readers growing impatient, as they wait for key commuter roadway to re-open.

Question: What is the status of the Brown Street Bridge?

Question: When will the Whipple Road Bridge be fixed?

Question: Are they ever going to fix the Brown Street Bridge?

Answer: Above is the theme of three separate e-mails we have received over the past two weeks. Clearly, the patience of Tewksbury residents is growing thin when it comes to a project they believe will help to ease Route 38 traffic congestion during the morning and afternoon commutes.

It has been nearly two years since flood damage forced the closure of the small bridge, which connects Whipple Road and Brown Street. Technically, the bridge itself is in Wilmington and Billerica, though a good portion of Brown Street, as it approaches the bridge, is in Tewksbury.

The three communities have agreed to share the responsibility for fixing the bridge. This includes sharing the costs and design approval.

According to Carlos Jaquez, _,the preliminary design is complete and the project is in the process of gaining final environmental approval from the Conservation Commissions of Wilmington, Billerica  and Tewksbury.

After that, said Jaquez the final design (being put together by the firm CME out of Connecticut) should be done by this spring.

After that, construction can begin immediately.

Jaquez does not have a concrete timetable for completion of construction. However, the project is only a repair job as opposed to a complete replacement, that construction period should be limited.

According to Jaquez, the design costs are expected to cost roughly $15,000 per town, while construction costs are expected to total $250,000-$300,000 overall.




Bill Gilman January 19, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Just a quick clarification Stacie ... Billerica and Wilmington own the bridge itself and that appears to be part of the issue. They were trying to get Tewksbury in on the fix. Now, while Tewksbury doesnt have a legal obligation to pay a cent, its residents really depend on that bridge, so they made the commitment.
Marc January 19, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Its about time..If the three towns own this bridge it should have been common sense that all three share the cost..It should not have taken 2 years to make that decision. Rt 38 has been an absolute disgrace with the traffic..whether the Tewksbury residents use the bridge or not..Tewksbury should not have to pay a cent to repair it at all..It is a huge pain in the behind not to have it especially for the residents that live in that area but for us to have to help flip the bill to repair another towns property is rediculous. This town doesnt have money as it is..does this mean our taxes are going to go up again for residents that use the bridge just like our taxes went up for the sewer project that I have no intention of hooking up to. Plus the fact that the beginning stage cost residents practically nothing for the bedderman fee but our stage cost us 3000..go ahead hit us again in these hard times..keep adding a lien to our property..all this town does is squeeze money out of the residents. I have lived here for 20 years and used that bridge a total of 1 hand and only because my kids friend lived there. I have one now going off to college and one 13 year old..once they are gone we are so done with this town..
Dianne Dykens January 19, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Living on Coolidge St for close to 30 years, the bridge being out is a huge inconvenience. A huge safety concern is that the South Street Fire station (when opened) still can not get to our neighborhood. Not to mention the amount of cars riding around the neighborhood because their GPS led them to the broken bridge with no alternate way to go. My understanding at the time it was first closed is that there was federal money through FEMA available for the repair. Has that changed?We are all looking forward to it's repair and I think I speak for residents of Tewksbury, Billerica and Wilmington. Hopefully there will not be a tragedy before it is fixed. Dianne
Douglas Sears April 13, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Update on Bridge: Design is done. Cost of construction is $300,000 and we need to just replace the deck of the bridge. If the cost is spilt 3 ways among Tewksbury, Wilmington and Billerica, we are talking about $100,000 per Town and Tewksbury has set aside funds for this project. There's some talk about installing a temporary bridge but I think we can have the construction done before a temporary bridge is installed. Tewksbury Selectman (978) 376 7390
Chris July 15, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Bridge is being worked on!!!!


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