Wilmington — Local drivers should be aware of scheduled repairs to the Woburn Street Bridge in the near future, with minimal impact to drive times being expected.
“My office had received several calls about the condition of the road, citing worsening pot-holes and erosion around the expansion joints specifically,” said Representative Dave Robertson. “It’s important that we address our throughways' infrastructure before situations like these become serious public safety risks."
Infrastructure improvements such as these bridge repairs have long been underfunded and neglected on both a state and federal level. In the most recent (2017) Infrastructure Report Card for the entirety of the United States’ infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the state of our country’s bridges the letter grade of a ‘C+’. While this grade may not mean much on face value — the ASCE found Massachusetts to not be an outlier to the country’s infrastructure problem — finding 9.3 percent of the Commonwealth’s bridges to be structurally deficient.
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association agreed with this figure, finding 482 bridges to be structurally deficient, some with over 100,000 commuter crossings a day.
The time has come for state and federal governments both to abandon the common practice of deferring responsibility and blame for issues like these and work collaboratively in addressing these infrastructural shortcomings before and not after a critical failure.
Fortunately, the country as a whole seems to be waking up to the severity and urgency of these issues. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the first recipients of the Competitive Highway Bridge Program on Aug. 29, awarding $225 million of federal funds to 20 projects across the country, with promises of more to come.
While this program is designed to address issues in states where populations are less dense than that of Massachusetts’, it is a positive sign that this issue is being taken seriously on a federal level.
"I'm glad to have been able to work with the Town Manager's office in advocating successfully for MassDOT to address this project. With these repairs soon to be behind us — I look forward to moving on to similar projects that are overdue the proper attention and repair such as the North Street bridge in Tewksbury, in addition to other bridges and overpasses in Wilmington and Tewksbury. Progress is worth celebrating but we have a lot more projects like this one to look forward to. I would especially like to thank Senator Tarr and Representative Gordon for their additional help and support in ensuring this bridge isn’t further degraded."
If you would like additional information on this or any other infrastructure project that affects Wilmington and/or Tewksbury, please do not hesitate to contact the office of Rep. Robertson at 617-722-2210 or David.Robertson@MAHouse.gov.