Cottage Street residents told bridge cannot be reopened

(Emily Thurlow)

GREAT BARRINGTON— Could the Cottage Street
bridge resemble something like the Bridge
of Flowers in Shelbourne Falls
as it awaits total replacement?

The suggestion was one of several options
raised during a Selectboard meeting Monday night at the Claire Teague
Senior Center.

The 142-foot town-owned bridge was built in
the 1930s and later rebuilt in 1961. In December 2018, decaying beams prompted
the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to close the bridge
indefinitely to motor vehicle traffic.

Seven months prior, the town landed a $5
million grant funded from MassDOT’s Transportation Improvement Program, said
the Great Barrington Town Manager Mark Pruhenski at the meeting.

With the grant, the town expects to replace
the entire bridge, he added.

“It’s still five years out at this time, plus an entire year of construction, so we’re still looking at six years [until a potential reopening of the bridge]. In the meantime, we wanted to have this meeting to get feedback from you to see how we can improve the neighborhood,” he said.

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