Final piece of truss removed from Sewalls Falls Bridge

  • Workers from E.D. Swett use a bucket to attach cables so they take down the first section of the Sewalls Falls bridgeWednesday. The contractor specializes in bridges and stayed until dark to take move the section over to the road.(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)

  • The remains of the old Sewalls Falls Bridge is seen late in the day after the final piece of the last standing truss was removed on Thursday, March 10, 2016.(ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • The remains of the old Sewalls Falls Bridge is seen late in the day after the final piece of the last standing truss was removed on Thursday, March 10, 2016.(ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • A crane lifts the final piece of the metal truss off the Sewalls Falls Bridge Thursday morning. Spectators on both sides of the Merrimack watched the process unfold. Construction on the new bridge is expected to be complete this year. (JONATHAN VAN FLEET / Monitor staff)

  • (JONATHAN VAN FLEET / Monitor staff)



Monitor staff
Friday, March 11, 2016
Lawrence Haskins has been stopping by the Monitor parking lot most weekdays for the past seven months to catch up on the replacement effort under way next door on the historic Sewalls Falls Bridge.

On Thursday, he witnessed yet another milestone: the final piece of the last standing truss removed from the former 101-year-old span.

“Out with the old, in with the new,” the 72-year-old retired millworker said, sipping a Diet Coke as his wife sat waiting in a nearby car. “Might as well watch.”

Haskins said he lives across the Merrimack River, on Fisherville Road. He comes out most days during construction for an hour, sometimes more. It’s not all that exciting, but it beats sitting indoors watching television, he reasoned.

The new, two-lane bridge is slated to open this year.

The former, single-lane bridge, which connects Fisherville Road to East Concord, was shut to traffic in 2014 because of its deteriorating condition. Some had hoped to preserve the original structure, but engineers found that some 80 percent of the steel would need to be replaced, an unfeasibly expensive endeavor.

The new bridge will have two piers in the river and will be higher on the eastern end, eliminating a dip in the road. It is expected to cost $11 million, funded mostly by a federal grant.



(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)




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