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Brown Street/Whipple Road Bridge Opens For Traffic

State and local dignitaries on hand for official ribbon cutting ceremony.

Amid much pomp and ceremony, the Brown Street/Whipple Road Bridge officially re-opened on Friday.

The bridge had been closed since Spring 2010, when the bridge was heavily damaged by flood waters.

The bridge is technically owned by Wilmington and Billerica but it has a major impact on Tewksbury residents in the Whipple road area. After much negotiation and planning by officials from the three towns and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, work on repairs to the bridge began in June.

"Tewksbury thanks the DOT for completing repairs that restore a vital public safety link among three communities," said

Work on the bridge had originally been targeted for completion by Oct. 31 but was completed a full five weeks early.

“It was great joining with the towns and playing a key role in bringing this project to completion. I want to thank (Transportation) Secretary Davey, the people at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, especially John Romano, for all of their help making this a reality,” said , who was the first driver to cross over the bridge at the conclusion of the ceremony. “This bridge is vital to the transportation needs of Tewksbury, Wilmington and Billerica, and to have it completed more than a month ahead of schedule is an extra bonus.”

While the cost of planning and design and some of the cost of construction was shared by the three towns, the state contributed $170,000 to the final construction costs.

“Rebuilding transportation infrastructure across the Commonwealth means addressing projects both large and small in scope but always of critical importance to their local communities,” said State Highway Administrator Frank DePaola.  “I am pleased to be here today to see the results of our collaboration with local and state leaders in reopening this bridge.”

With the bridge being closed, commuters had to find alternative routes of travel, contributing to increased traffic on Shawsheen Street, Route 38 and other roads. However, according to Tewksbury Town Manager Richard Montuori, reopening the bridge was especially critical to a select group of commuters.

"It was a public safety issue," said Montuori. "Fire trucks, ambulances -- the response times were impacted."

Rick M September 23, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Mary, do you think that we in this neighborhood should just up and leave rather than address the problem? Pretty sure I bought in a residential neighborhood where the posted speed limit is 25mph....thought that it was a good community where traffic would be enforced and my local fd would stay open. Should I just bury my head or exercise my first amendment rights and voice my opinion in public? People in south Tewksbury have been given the short end of the stick for too long.....
Rick M September 23, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Tom h, I'm sure the businesses on the south tewkbury section of rt 38 are thrilled that traffic will be eased on that commercially zoned state highway. Maybe we should have a plan for our town like Wilmington has, extra lanes, timed traffic lights, limited entry points. Make it easier to commute and commerce instead of send traffic into residential. If we police properly, I have no issue with traffic on my street....just not happy about cars going twice the limit with kids on the street.
Rachel Henba September 23, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Speeders are EVERYWHERE. I'm honestly tired of seeing those complaints. There are plenty of other roads in town that constantly have speeders traveling them. Do you really expect the road to end there because of that? This is Tewksbury, not Pleasantville.
Rick M September 23, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Rachael, with the right attitude this could be pleasantville. I moved here from Malden because it was a lost cause and I'm not about to let tewkbury crumble without speaking up. I'm glad the day my dog got killed on brown street after knocking out the screen door it wasn't a kid chasing a ball. People travel too fast on this street using it as a commuter road from Lowell to Wilmington. A sidewalk would make it safer, cops that gave out tickets would make it a fundraiser! Lowell money funding our town....not a bad idea I think! I don't speed when I drive through Andover or Reading, they out tickets like candy.
al bundy April 05, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Rick, I used to drive through that road for at least 2 years and I saw that you could speed up really easy. I didn't know the bridge was open until today, but I read your comments and I will start using this road again going to Bedford, but I will stay under the speed limit. Glad you brought this up, If I am the only one, at least you got one with you.

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