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Nashua;48.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/ra.png;2014-10-23 01:08:01
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Baldwin Street bridge replacement on schedule for Nov. 1

The one-lane, shaky timber Baldwin Street Bridge is long gone, and the modern bridge to replace it is proceeding on schedule as part of the Broad Street Parkway.

Ryan Audley, vice president of R.S. Audley Construction, which is contracted to complete a portion of the parkway job, said Tuesday that the bridge job is “right on target” and should open by Nov. 1, as planned – and he is even “hoping to get it open before that.” ...

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The one-lane, shaky timber Baldwin Street Bridge is long gone, and the modern bridge to replace it is proceeding on schedule as part of the Broad Street Parkway.

Ryan Audley, vice president of R.S. Audley Construction, which is contracted to complete a portion of the parkway job, said Tuesday that the bridge job is “right on target” and should open by Nov. 1, as planned – and he is even “hoping to get it open before that.”

The primary reason for the old Baldwin Street Bridge, which connected Amherst Street to the neighborhood alongside the Nashua River known as Little Florida, was to span the railroad tracks underneath. The new bridge, said Audley, can span the tracks as well as the parkway lanes that will run under it, and accommodate heavier loads.

The longer, more modern bridge is being built as part of the Broad Street Parkway, a $38 million two-lane bypass that will connect Broad Street with downtown.

The Baldwin Street Bridge and a similar Fairmount Street bridge that also connects to Little Florida, have been the cause of many legal tussles over the decades between the city and the railroad company – first Boston & Maine, then Guilford, now Pan Am – about who would repair them.

Despite its shaky status, the bridge’s demise produced a considerable amount of nostalgia among people who used to live, or still live, in the affected neighborhoods. One family held a tongue-in-cheek memorial for the old Baldwin Street bridge shortly it was demolished in November, and a number of people posted signs and memos, even a poem or two, around the construction site.

One poem listed many ways residents crossed the bridge, including: “We crossed you with our babes in strollers / (and when no one was looking we cross you in our bathrobe and rollers).”

Audley is working on what he described as the “North Contract,” the portion of the Parkway from Broad Street to the Baldwin Street Bridge. It includes a 500-foot-long retaining wall along the Nashua River.

Elsewhere on the parkway route, cement slabs have been poured and the sidewalk panels are ready to be installed.

Liberty Utilities has replaced at least 152 feet of gas main on Baldwin Street, and workers have installed curbing and relocated telephone poles.

– Telegraph staff