Elm Street East and West Bridges

Wareham, MA
Key Elements
  • MassDOT Municipal Small Bridge Program
  • Two bridge replacements
  • Accessibility improvements

The Elm Street East and West Bridges, located over the Parker Mill Pond in Wareham, were in poor condition and closed to vehicular traffic. Nitsch is providing structural and transportation engineering design services for the superstructure replacement and substructure modification of the East Bridge and the culvert replacement of the West Bridge. We worked with the Town of Wareham to prepare an application and secure funding for repairs to both bridges through the Municipal Small Bridge Program, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

For the East Bridge, Nitsch designed a new bridge superstructure and modifications to the existing substructure. The proposed bridge is a new cast-in-place concrete deck slab which maintains the existing horizontal and vertical geometry of the bridge. One key challenge we faced was the East Bridge’s proximity to the adjacent dam. The bridge’s abutments and wingwalls are integral with the dam structure, which has been rated “high-risk” by the Office of Dam Safety. The bridge replacement was designed to minimize impacts and construction loading on the dam during construction.

For the West Bridge, we designed a new precast concrete box culvert as a replacement for the existing culvert structure. This replacement project will include the demolition of the roof of the existing culvert and the placement of the proposed culvert within the remains of the existing, which serves to limit the impacts and disturbance to the adjacent high-risk dam.

Additional improvements to the bridges include replacing the existing sub-standard guard rails and bridge rails with new crash-rated timber rails, and adding raised concrete sidewalks on each side of the roadways for improved accessibility. Nitsch coordinated with various utility companies for the temporary relocation of the overhead wires, the burying of service lines, and the support of new services lines beneath the finished bridges.

Key Collaborator

Owner: Town of Wareham