Celebration Day: Central Street bridge reopens

Abington’s long municipal nightmare is over.

The Central Street bridge reopened Wednesday allowing traffic to once again cross between Washington Street and Plymouth Street quickly and directly.

The bridge had been closed for 20 weeks — long enough for the Red Sox to go from a plucky and promising .500 squad to a disappointing and frustrating .500 squad.

The 24-foot span over the Shaumatuscacant River was rated a 3 out of 10 during its last state inspection. DPW Director John Stone said the bridge’s old beams “were in worse condition than expected and they wouldn’t have supported traffic much longer at all.” Town Meeting approved $890,000 for the project in November 2020.

Work was originally scheduled to take 19 weeks. However, more than 40 days of rain this summer created delays getting the bridge paved. A final coat of asphalt was laid down earlier this week.

Permanent railings for the bridge still haven’t arrived. However the town placed temporary barriers in place until they arrive.

The Shumatuscacant River leading into Island Grove Pond during bridge repairs

Central Street resident Keri Westhaver said while she’s enjoyed the quieter roadway during construction, and is disappointed it took so long, she’s glad the project is finished.

“It cuts my commute to the school down and I’m sure it will help with police response times,” she said. “Also it means my kids can safely walk home from school and around the neighborhood.”

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