By Beth David, Editor
If you drove on Causeway Road in Fairhaven almost any day last week, you may have noticed that surveyors with various kinds of equipment were milling about the place, taking measurements and checking out every little thing.
The Fairhaven Board of Public Works hired Tighe and Bond to go the next step from a study they did back in October of 2020. The company is looking at ways and costs to replace or repair the causeway/bridge. Six alternatives, four short term and two long term, range in cost from $3,630,000 to $22,710,000.
Sea level rise due to climate change is a major concern, with access to the island in jeopardy.
“Long term alternatives include solutions for the bridge and causeway to accommodate coastal resiliency, potential impacts from climate change, and potential sea level rise,” reads the 10/29/20 report. “Short term alternatives include solutions that upgrade the existing bridge to meet current codes and to modify the causeway for improved safety and overall functional performance.”
Short Term alternatives include: Rehabilitate bridge, replace bridge, approach rails for short term alternatives (two options), options to maintain traffic while working on short term alternatives.
Long term alternatives, which include elevating the road by five feet, include: Replace bridge and upgrade causeway with 28-foot span on concrete beams; replace bridge and causeway with a 600-foot bridge in piles.
Public works superintendent Vinnie Furtado said the causeway bridge is inspected by the state every two years. He emphasized, that although it has some deterioration, it is sound and not in danger of collapsing. Sea level rise is an issue, he said, with the water splashing over the road more often.
Any new construction, should widen the road and elevate it.
Mr. Furtado said the options range from just repairing what it there, to a complete rebuild.
He said the board wanted to at least assess the situation to get options in line.
“Before there’s a problem and everybody needs to swim who lives on West Island, I want to tackle this.”
He said the work going on this month is an assessment, first to verify the state’s work.
“And we’ll take it from there as to, aer we going to fix what’s there or fix it with an upgrade, or are we going to build a whole new bridge,” said Mr. Furtado.
He said the company will also help the town find grant money from the state.
“The idea is to fix the bridge and then do guard rails beyond the bridge on both sides, because we can get money for that, too,” said Mr. Furtado. “We want to incorporate sea level rise so it would be higher than what is there now. It has to be higher.”
Ssee the report here: GoulartBridgeAlternatives
Click here to download the entire 8/5/21 issue: 08-05-21 StasiaSignBook
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