City eyes state funds to repair Plummer Springs Bridge | Local News

NEWBURYPORT — City officials have been meeting with private and public bridge experts to assess the condition of the Plummer Springs Bridge with the expectation it will need significant repair.

The small stone bridge is located just beyond Hale Street, near the Artichoke Reservoir.

Mayor Donna Holaday said a team from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation recently inspected the bridge.

Engineers from a private firm have also assessed its condition to compile a preliminary estimate of the repair cost.

Holaday said the bridge repair could cost $1.5 million to $2 million and that she will be applying for financial assistance from the Department of Transportation’s Small Bridge Program.

“The bridge is showing deterioration,” Holaday said. “We may have to enforce weight limits but we are working to keep the bridge open and we will provide information following the completion of assessments.”

In another matter involving municipal property, city officials recently learned the repairs for the Newburyport High School roof were not approved “this round” by managers of the state Department of Education’s accelerated repair program.

The roof repair could cost close to $800,000, the mayor said.

Local school officials will apply for state money again next year.

In the short term, Holaday said, “We are looking at using $20,000 for flashing and patching and roof repair, and we will apply (to the larger program) next year.”

In a separate municipal matter, school officials reported that the final accounting has been done on the Nock/Molin repair project, and there is $983,857 in the city’s account after bills have been paid.

Holaday told city councilors she would like to use $450,000 of that surplus “to cover the cost of repaving and upgrading lighting at the Nock/Middle complex parking lot.”

Her request for use of the $450,000 will be sent to the City Council and councilors will assess the project before action is taken.

Dyke Hendrickson covers Newburyport. He can be reached at 978-961-3149, or at [email protected]

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