GREAT BARRINGTON — The Cottage Street bridge will remain closed to traffic until 2023 when the state releases money to replace the 84-year-old bridge.
Earlier this year, Massachusetts Department of Transportation designated $5 million in state transportation funds after the bridge failed an inspection, according to their report. On Monday, the Great Barrington Selectboard voted unanimously to wait for the replacement until funding is recieved before it begins construction on replacing the bridge.
A MassDOT inspector deemed the 134-foot bridge as “structurally deficient,” according to the bridge inspection report in 2014.
The Cottage Street bridge received a 0 on a scale of 0 to 9 for bridge ratings and safety for cracks, corrosion, rust, and holes apparent in the structures of the bridge.
The bridge previously served as an alternative route for traffic crossing the Housatonic River, connecting to Route 7 and downtown areas in Great Barrington.
In the meantime, there haven’t been any changes in the fire department’s response time since the bridge closed, said Great Barrington Fire Chief Charles Berger.
“There are other bridges that are more important for our routes,” Berger said.
For now, traffic crosses the Housatonic river connecting State Road and Route 7 to enter and leave the town.
The Cottage Street bridge is currently in its preliminary designing phase, according to the report.
Although the bridge is closed to traffic, sidewalks will remain open for pedestrians.
Pick up next week’s edition for a more detailed report.
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