Sunday, October 7, 2007

Westfield's Bridge Project, Five Months On

July 25, 2007 - The north riverbank east of the Great River Bridge in Westfield is cleared and construction is underway in this photo taken roughly 2 1/2 months after the May 11, 2007, groundbreaking for the new bridge that will connect the north and south sides of the city. The unobstructed view of the Westfield River looking from either side takes some getting used to for folks who are accustomed to the heavy vegetation and trees that lined the banks for decades, and before that, factories and mills. Buildings razed on the north side for the Great River Bridge Project include a structure along the river that had housed a woodworking shop and, further up North Elm street, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church. For before, during and after photos of the demolition of the church, check out the August 12, 2007, EWM post, Westfield's Blessed Sacrament Parish Breaks New Ground.

August 5, 2007 - The crane is in place and ready to assist in the building of a temporary bridge spanning the river as a kind of scaffolding to work off of during the construction of the new bridge. The temporary bridge must be built strong enough to hold the weight of the crane and other heavy equipment. Recently, an interesting and ancient retired construction worker reminded me of the difference between a steelworker and an ironworker when I happened to misspeak. A steelworker makes the steel, an ironworker puts it together and builds things with it. Both tough jobs, requiring a tough breed of human.

August 19, 2007 - The first section of the temporary bridge is in place on the north riverbank and the crane sits idle. In mid-August, a permit dispute between contractor, J. F. White, and the Massachusetts Highway Department has halted construction on the structure, the building of which, although necessary for the safe and efficient construction of the new bridge, had apparently not had the proper state permits pulled by the contractor, according to the Highway Department. The contractor disagrees with the department's assessment, as related in an August 21, 2007, CBS 3 News article. The crane would sit idle for weeks before work on the temporary bridge resumed.

October 6, 2007 - The morning mist has yet to lift over the north side in this photo, taken yesterday. Construction has resumed on the temporary bridge, with two sections now complete and pylons driven for a third. About five months have passed since the groundbreaking for the project. It is interesting to note the drop in the water level of the Westfield River in this succession of photos. The river's flow is somewhat controlled by the Littleville Dam on the middle branch and Knightville Dam on the east branch, both in Huntington, Mass., and under the charge of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. The west branch of the river is unregulated, and further east, the Little River is also, for the most part, free in its flow as it empties into the river, pushing towards the Connecticut.

More about the Great River Bridge traffic improvement project on EWM.

As always, thanks for stopping by and take care.

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Anonymous said...

I love your photography. How do you get the "old fashion" look to the pictures.
Thanks as always for posting your links.
Reply to Please

Anonymous said...

I have to admit these are great Pictures but I want to know how you see into the future.. You should not taking pictures if you can do that!!!

Tony said...

great idea taking the photos from the same spot as the work progresses.

Mark T. Alamed said...


I have a six year-old, 2,2 megapixel Kodak DX3500 and its accessory dock. It's nothing fancy. Between my wife and I, we have taken well over 12,000 photos with it. I think the pictures get that "old fashion look" because the camera is old. In today's technological world, anything electronic and model year 2001 is a relic. I'm glad you liked the photos, thanks for leaving a comment.


It took me awhile but I figured it out! I had the last photo in the series dated as October 8, 2007! Doh! I was looking at September on the calendar still, and dated the photo the second Saturday of that month, having neglected to flip ahead to October. Thanks for the cryptic, but fun, heads up!

Thanks, Tony. I think it's a fascinating public works project.