Problematic bridge in Westwood being replaced this weekend

WESTWOOD, MASS. (WHDH) - WESTWOOD, MASS. (WHDH) – A problematic Westwood bridge originally constructed in 1911 will be replaced over the weekend.

Construction of the new East Street Bridge, which carries the Franklin Commuter Rail Line, began in March under a nearly $12 million contract following a series of crashes.

The project included the installation of deep foundations behind the existing abutments, utility relocation, track reconstruction, new precast concrete abutment caps, precast concrete approach slabs, and two steel superstructures, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said.

“They’re going to lower the road and raise the bridge,” said Westwood Selectman Michael Walsh. “That will give us a span to hopefully stop most accidents. It’s going to be a great thing and give people a little peace of mind when they go under that bridge.”

Over the weekend, the bridge superstructure will be moved from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Yard at Grafton Avenue to East Street, where it will be lifted into place and attached to the new bridge abutments.

East Street closed at 9 a.m. on Friday in preparation of the replacement.

There have been so many accidents at the underpass over the years that Westwood police have installed a camera that records it 24 hours a day.

“I was in Aruba last year and somebody said to me, ‘You live in Westwood. You have that famous bridge,’” Walsh recalled.

Franklin Line train service will be replaced with shuttle bus service in both directions between Norwood Central and Dedham Corporate Stations beginning at 9 p.m. Friday, and in both directions from Forge Park to Dedham Corporate Stations on Saturday and Sunday.

Regularly scheduled train service is expected to resume at the start of service Monday.

(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)