The state Department of Transportation has cut the ribbon and reopened Route 133 in Bridgewater. The safety improvement project was completed two weeks ahead of schedule.
5,200 feet of roadway was resurfaced. 3,300 feet of roadway was realigned. A new 750 foot retaining wall was built on the west side of Route 133. The wall was tinted grey and brown to look like native rock in the area. Over the next few months the extensive open slopes will be planted with native trees and shrubs.
Bridgewater officials say even though the character of the town's southern approach has radically changed, the DOT project was considered a necessary improvement.
DOT Commissioner James Redecker says they had to excavate more than they thought. 20,000 cubic yards of rock and 10,000 cubic yards of earth were removed. Drainage and culverts had to be put in. 3,000 feet of conduit and various utility vaults along with the installation of 25,000 feet of new fiber optic cable was also completed.
The start date for the overall project was September 23, 2016. Advance utility relocations were completed within the five weeks preceding the beginning of construction. Project staff worked through the winter shutdown period to clear trees and excavate rock.
The project's construction cost was approximately $6.7 million of which 80 percent was funded by the Federal Highway Administration as part of an 80/20 cost share with the state.
The average daily traffic on this section of Route 133 is about 3,000 vehicles per day.
The project is subject to an “incentive contract”. If they finish all work before August 1st, the contractor get a hefty bonus of $20,000 a day. If they were late, they would lose that amount each day.