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Rockland Street Bridge in Wellesley to reopen in late December

Posted by Evan Allen  November 29, 2012 10:21 AM

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The Rockland Street Bridge in Wellesley will soon be reopened, unsnarling traffic and soothing the headaches of residents frustrated by construction delays that have kept the bridge closed since early this year.

The bridge, which has been closed to traffic since Jan. 27, will reopen in late December, according to Massachusetts Department of Transportation spokesman Michael Verseckes. When construction began, work was expected to be complete in the early fall.

Verseckes said the project does not have a hard date for completion, but that there is no chance it will slide into January.

“We could potentially be working against the weather, considering we are entering the winter season,” he said. “We don’t anticipate that delaying it any further. It’s not something that we wouldn’t be able to work through, considering the amount of work that’s left.”

The price tag for the project – originally estimated at $1.6 million – has been bumped up to $2.3 million.

“The circumstances around this project were unusual,” said Verseckes. “The cost is considerably higher than we were anticipating.”

When the bridge was first closed in January, the plan was to rebuild a new bridge on the old foundation. But the original plans for the bridge, which was built in the early 1900’s, did not show the true size of the abutments. The abutments did not meet today’s design standards, so construction had to be halted while they were redesigned.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com

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