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8 Arch Bridge Committee Finalizes Construction Plan

by Paul Saulnier
March 24, 2017

At its March 21, 2017 meeting, the committee completed its plans to stabilize the bridge and make it safe for use as part of the rail trail.

Once work on the bridge is completed, the remaining portion of the old rail bed can be resurfaced from Central Street to the Sherborn Line.

Daniel Crovo, above, of Gill Engineering, attended the meeting to answer questions from the committee about his work on the project to date. Gill Engineering produced a report detailing proposed construction to stabilize the bridge and make it safe for users of the rail trail.

The work, as proposed by Gill, and agreed to by the committee, includes removal of the deteriorated concrete coping (the concrete visible along the top edge of the bridge), replacement of the concrete end posts which have failed and are visibly sagging, installation of new coping and concrete decking designed to stop water from leaking into the bridge and creating a surface appropriate for pedestrians and horses (the surface used on the rest of the trail will not be needed), and a pedestrian railing similar to the one shown below.

Jay Robinson, chair of the committee, and the other committee members have decided not to address the non structural issues of the bridge such as replacing grout (the mortar between the granite blocks) lost due to water infiltration from the deteriorated deck, cleaning the face of the blocks or removal of the efflorescence created by the water leaching through the grout. Gill's estimate of the cost for the work is $300,000 for the structural work and $160,000 for the railing system. Gill has also submitted a proposal to prepare final plans and specifications for the proposed work, including managing and overseeing the construction.

Committee member Alison Lima, above, prepared a spreadsheet detailing the work and associated cost for the CPC (Community Preservation Committee) review of an application for CPA (Community Preservation Act) funds to pay for the work. Alison's request includes a 30% bidding contingency resulting in a request totaling $590,000, including $62,000 for plans and specifications and construction management.

The CPC will review the application at its next meeting on March 27, 2017. The application requests that the structural work be funded under Historic Preservation and the pedestrian railing be funded under Recreation/Open Space CPA funds.

After the meeting, Robert Weidknecht, above, and Herb Brockert, below, presented the proposed work to the Conservation Commission for approval under an Order of Conditions. In order to protect the stream that runs under the bridge and the associated wetlands, the work will be completed entirely from the rail bed.

BTW, the 8 arch bridge is the local name for the Bogastow Brook Viaduct.


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Comments (4)

Thank you mr Blair I will be there with bells and whistles on. It's just frustrating listen to friends of mine who work for the town of when they see the town spending all types of money (not the 8 arch) but on other things and the town can't take care of the people who take care of this town

- Jason Brennan | 3/24/17 4:07 PM

I'm all about preserving the historic charm of our town. I love the rail trail it's awesome that we have it now and the volunteers who fixed up the arch st overpass did great work!! But, I also love other parts of our town too especially the charm of the mudville neighborhood. Today as I walked my pup on the trail and then through mudville I began to wonder what the status of the old Andrews school was. I haven't really educated myself on the towns plans (for the old school) recently but wonder if the sources of funding (for the bridge) are coming from monies that may be better used toward turning that building into low income senior housing? I also wonder due to the structural preservation costs of the bridge, have any engineers (I'm not one) considered a free-floating (new) "walking" bridge that could be pinned into the ground at each end of the old bridge and span the distance without putting any additional weight onto the old bridge itself? This could ensure the safety of the people and animals that use it and slow the deterioration of the 8 arch. Possibly this type of idea could leave some funding to share on other much needed town infrastructure upgrades. Thanks for reading.

- Mike Congdon | 3/24/17 10:40 AM

Jason - The latest purchase of land on the rail trail - from Church St. to the Sherborn line was paid for by the state through a Transportation Bond Bill. Likewise funding for the upcoming work on the 8 Arch Bridge will be paid for from funds from the Community Preservation Committee. These funds (I could be wrong) can only be spent on low income housing, historic preservation, open space, and recreation. You have a chance Jason to make your voice heard at the Annual Town Meeting in May.

- Bobby Blair | 3/24/17 8:11 AM

Exactly my point about the insurance so now we're talking about 600k for people to walk across the bridge. So why not instead of all that money going towards the rail trail why not give it back to the employees so they're actually taking a pay check home and not scraping penny's together to get by. God forbid the gentleman in charge atauclly do something for the men and women in the town instead of spending on "less important stuff" I mean how many times are we going to rip up down town without fixing the water mains underneath but noooooo let's pave it and make it look pretty

- Jason Brennan | 3/24/17 4:48 AM



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