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State now says it can repair Hyde Park's River Street Bridge enough to re-open it in the spring of 2024

Diagram showing parts of the bridge that will be repaired or replaced to re-open the bridge

MassDOT diagram of the work needd to re-open the bridge by next year.

MassDOT has updated its plans for the River Street Bridge in Cleary Square, closed since May: Do enough repairs to the crumbling span to re-open it to vehicle traffic in the spring of 2024, while it continues to work towards a more permanent replacement in a year to be determined.

MassDOT had initially said it would keep the bridge shut until an entirely new span could be swapped in, maybe in spring of 2025. But the department said this week that complete replacement would like take even longer because Amtrak was going to take a long, long time to review plans that could affect its busiest line - and was going to require more supports for its overhead power lines, which are connected to the bottom of the bridge than the state had thought.

Realizing what the means for traffic around Cleary Square, MassDOT says it decided in January to spend enough to repair the bridge so it can support traffic until the new bridge can actually be installed.

Preliminary work began last month and will continue this month and next - in the roughly 90 minutes a night when no trains are running on the tracks. This work involves placing wooden shields below the bridge surfaces to keep pieces from falling on the tracks so crews can work during the day on more extensive repair work: Tearing out the bridge deck to make way for repairs to beams and other components in time to lay down a new deck and re-open the bridge to vehicle traffic in the spring of 2024.



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OK, MassDOT has a plan. But has the state Department of Public Utilities checked it out yet?