Town Holds Grand Opening of Wheeler Street Bridge
The town held a grand opening ceremony for the Wheeler Street Bridge on Tuesday, September 5 and several local and state officials came out to cut the ribbon on the new bridge that’s been seven years in the making. In March 2010, a torrential rainstorm and flooding caused the bridge to collapse.
Those in attendance included State Rep. Steve Howitt; Selectmen Chairman Skip Vadnais; Selectmen Dave Perry and Sue Pimental; Highway Superintendent Mike Costello; Town Administrator Helen Dennen; Bill Travers, engineer from the Mass. Dept. of Transportation as well as representatives from the engineering firm.
Costello called the process of reconstructing the bridge “a roller coaster ride.” Two factors in the delay, said Costello, were the process of getting two different funding sources approved and the engineering for the project.
Howitt said it was a combined effort between the federal and state government, board of selectmen and the Department of Public Works.
The bridge cost $1.7 million which was paid mostly with federal and state funds. The town paid $253,000, mostly for engineering.
Costello said “it was a good ending to a long saga” and now the town has a “beautiful bridge.”