The Hamlin Street Bridge in Acushnet is being prepped for a shutdown next week. The bridge will be closed for traffic starting on Monday, Dec. 19.

Drivers in Acushnet were left scratching their heads when they saw a sign posted in town that warned of the impending closing of the bridge. The sign prepared Acushnet residents for what will be a rather long closure while construction is being done and repairs are made.

How bad could it be, right? Three or four months? Six months? No way is it a year or more! Right?


It's going to be significantly inconvenient if you live in the neighborhood for a significantly long time. Buckle up, Acushnet, you're about to lose the Hamlin Street Bridge for three years or more.

I say "or more" because we all know how these things go. If the Mass DOT, which is heading up the project, is forecasting that the bridge will be reopened in three years, Massachusetts residents know that is too often code for four or five years.

I have two words for anyone who disagrees: Big. Dig.

Just for reference, the Golden Gate Bridge took four years to build back in the early 1930s. The Tobin Bridge in Boston took two years in the 1950s.

A similar project was done in Mattapoisett back in 2014.  The culvert on Acushnet Road was closed by the Fairhaven/Acushnet/Mattapoisett town lines. Access to the road was closed on Oct. 24, 2014. It didn't reopen until Nov. 20, 2015, more than a year later.

Neighbors in that neighborhood expressed concern about the lack of direct accessibility from emergency vehicles during the time of construction, but the project was deemed a priority due to a safety issue.

On the Acushnet town website, the three-year time frame was confirmed with this statement:

The State of Massachusetts DOT has hired MAS Building and Bridge, Inc. to complete the Hamlin Street Bridge Replacement. The DPW was notified on November 16, 2022 that MAS Building and Bridge, Inc. would begin working on this project on December 1, 2022. They will be putting up signs that Hamlin Street will be closed to thru traffic beginning on December 19, 2022 until the projected end of this project in December 2025.

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