EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — Good news for people going through Easthampton Thursday.
The Manhan Bridge is open again, five weeks ahead of schedule and businesses in the area are breathing a big sigh of relief.
The sign says it all and the good news spread quickly.
Don Hennemann lives in Easthampton and he couldn’t be happier about the bridge’s re-opening. “Like everybody else in Easthampton, we couldn’t wait for this to be finished,” he says.
The project was completed five weeks ahead of schedule.
It is part of the state’s Accelerated Bridge Program, a program that gives incentives to contractors who finish ahead of schedule.
“The contractor could earn $3,500 for every day he finishes early, up to a maximum of 30 days, so the total potential bonus was $100,500,” says MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola by phone.
DePaola says the contractor, Nothern Construction Services, was able to take advantage of the maximum amount of bonus money.
The early re-opening of the Manhan Bridge is music to the ears of local businesses, none more so than Tru Beer, which is literally a stone’s throw away from the bridge
“We’re extreme happy about it. It’s been a long summer for us and we can’t wait for everybody to come back and can’t wait to see all our customers again,”
Chamber of Commerce President Patrick Brough says the accelerated program worked well.
“I’m glad that MassDOT and Northern Construction were able to complete this job ahead of schedule. They were great, they worked with the Chamber throughout this process,” Brough adds.
The detour is over and now 22,000 cars will again be traveling the bridge each day.