Bridge that connects Nashua with Merrimack will be closed for 15 months
"The bridge has been shut down and the contractor is beginning the work," said City Engineer Steve Dookran. "Our schedule is to have the project completed by the spring of 2015, but we are hoping it might be earlier than that."
The bridge, which was built in 1935, was placed on the municipal red list of substandard bridges in 2008 because of structural deficiencies. However, it took several years for the project to make it out to bid late last summer.
"We've been given guidelines on protecting the nest," said Dookran. "At first, we were worried that it might slow us down, but it's all standard and all doable."
The State Department of Transportation is picking up 80 percent of the cost of the project, Nashua is paying 15 percent, and Merrimack will foot the bill for the remaining 5 percent.
The bridge crosses over the Pennichuck Brook, which older residents may remember as a favorite spot for ice skating parties. However, today the brook is part of Nashua's water supply network. For years the bridge has been lined with chain link fence and topped with barbed wire to protect the area from trespassers.