What an exciting day!
The bridge over MA Rte 10 went up connecting the Northampton rail trail to the Easthampton rail trail. Putting the bridge into place took about 9 hours, and still must be paved, but what a huge move towards the final touches.
I arrived at about 12:30 p.m., just as the last of the three sections of the bridge were joined to make the whole. One of the other spectators told me that getting this section connected took the longest time.
The work had to be done very carefully as the rail trail, and the bridge, go along the power lines which serve Northampton.
People came from both towns to watch the bridge go up. During the time I was there, about 25 or more people were
watching from the Northampton side. Many had arrived on bike, and most of us were eager to ride the bridge.
Well, one construction worker decided not to wait. He borrowed a bike from a spectator and rode across the bridge while it was still on the ground. He yelled to us that he wanted to be the first to ride across. We all cheered for him. You can just see him there in the orange vest.
I had to leave before the cranes did their work, but I did go back a few hours later to see what the bridge looked like in place. You can see that the ramp up to the bridge still needs to be paved, and there’s fencing blocking the bridge from being crossed. All of the workers had left by then, so I wasn’t able to ask about the paving schedule, but when I find out, I’ll be sure to let you know.
I decided to take the long way home, along the Northampton trail through downtown, and met up with my friend Janet, who was biking home with her family. I had seen them in the crowd at the bridge raising earlier. Janet told me that with the bridge going up, and the other cycling infrastructure development happening lately, she felt Northampton was earning it’s nickname, Paradise City.
I couldn’t agree more.