Ashburnham St. Bridge Being Resurfaced in Fitchburg

September 27, 2018

It's been over 70 years since the Ashburnham Street Bridge has been repaired and it has largely disappeared under numerous resurfacing projects and by the growing foliage. The only indication of the bridge are these concrete barriers at the corner of Ashburnham Street and McIntire Road. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / CLIFF CLARK Sentinel and Enterprise staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

By Amanda Burke


FITCHBURG -- Built in 1936 and last fixed over a decade after that, the Ashburnham Street Bridge will soon see the benefit of $212,000 in repairs.

Crews with Middleton-based general contracting company NEL Corp. will begin repairing the bridge on Oct. 1, according to Commissioner of Public Works Lenny Laakso.

Repairs to the bridge, which spans the intersection of Ashburnham Street at the corner of Mcintire Road, are expected to conclude on Nov. 30, he said. Traffic will be able to pass during the duration of the project.

Laasko said the work will include replacing a 5-foot-wide concrete deck on the underside of one portion of the bridge.

“It just completely disintegrated,” he said.

It will also include reconstructing another section of concrete on the underside of the bridge, constructing new concrete headwalls and installing new guardrails.

The Ashburnham Street Bridge repairs are being funded with two grants from the MassDOT Highway Division’s Small Bridge Program totaling $212,000, according to Laakso.

He said the city was among the first beneficiaries of the 5-year program, which helps communities repair bridges between 10 and 20 feet long.

Laakso said bridges shorter than 20 feet are not eligible for maintenance funding through the federal government, which supplies the lion’s share of funding for fixing bridges over 20 feet long.

Next up on the list of city bridges bound for repairs is the Oak Hill Road bridge, said Laasko. Repairs there are also being done by NEL Corporation.

Crews will stiffen the ends of steel beams near the bridge’s north abutment, according to Laakso.

To fulfill the terms of a host-community agreement it signed with the city, Cannabis company Revolutionary Clinics donated $25,000 towards repairing the bridge, which is adjacent to into the company’s 1 Oak Hill Road cultivation center.

The city is contributing $60,000 in available funds to the repairs, said Laakso, adding that “there may be more” funding required.

While Laasko could not provide a timeline for repairs to Oak Hill Road Bridge, he expected crews will work on both projects simultaneously.

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