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Green River Covered Bridge Repairs Moving Forward

WGN 21-06-02#2

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For Immediate Release:
Contact: Robert H. Durfee
DuBois & King, Inc,

October 8, 2012, Greenfield, MA - The Town of Greenfield has received a commitment by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to partially fund repairs to the Green River [or Pumping Station] Covered Bridge. The bridge is located on Eunice Williams Drive over the Green River.

During Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011, a flood event on the Green River scoured the east abutment of the bridge leading to its failure, and damaged structural timbers in the roof framing, trusses and sidewalk. A 150-foot section of the east approach road was washed away and made impassable. Floodwaters also caused the Town's water supply dam, which is immediately upstream of the bridge, to be overtopped and fail.

The Town of Greenfield has contracted with DuBois & King from Bedford, New Hampshire, an engineering firm with a specialty in covered bridges, to oversee emergency repairs to the bridge and to complete a total rehabilitation design.

"Our first task after the flood was to jack up and stabilize the bridge on the existing abutments to prevent further damage and to save it from another flood event," said Sara Campbell, P.E. the Town's Engineering Superintendent and project manager. "Jacking and stabilization was completed last November. We then moved on to our next task of rebuilding the failed dam, which is a water supply for the Town. Dam rebuilding was completed in May of this year. We are now focused on our final task, which is to repair and rehabilitate the bridge, and reopen it to traffic," said Campbell. The next river crossing is 3 miles south at Nash's Mill Road, which is subject to frequent flooding.

"The Green River Covered Bridge, like most covered bridges has a history and story connected to the bridge that makes the bridge an integral part of the community and an interesting project to work on," said Robert H. Durfee, P.E., a nationally recognized covered bridge expert and Vice President for the engineering firm. "The bridge was reconstructed in 1972 with volunteer labor and donated materials and equipment from Town residents. "We are designing repairs to rehabilitate and preserve the bridge as well as a piece of Greenfield's history," said Durfee.

Repairs are being designed for the replacement or repair of roof framing, upper and lower lateral bracing, timber trusses, board siding, and bearings. Both abutments will be removed and replaced with new concrete abutments and wing walls. The east end of the bridge is to be raised 2 feet to enable greater capacity of the bridge to pass floodwaters without damage. The current estimate for design and construction of the repairs is $750,000."We are making steady progress on the design and permitting of the rehabilitation," said Campbell, "Coordination with numerous federal and state agencies is required for a project like this, which takes time. We hope to complete the design and permitting process soon, and bid the work late this fall. We are on track to repair and rehabilitate this bridge and open it to traffic in late fall 2013," said Campbell.

Thanks, Sawyer Sutton, Marketing Assistant, DuBois & King

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