Bridge opening a month away

LYNDEBOROUGH- The new bridge on Old Temple Road West is now scheduled to open at the end of January if the weather cooperates, selectmen said Monday.

Workers have installed new guardrails and the new bridge has been paved.

Work is continuing on the section of Old Temple Road between the railroad crossing and Route 31, and at the junction of the two roads.

The bridge over Stoney Brook has been closed since August while a new pre-cast concrete arch was installed, bypassing the two historic stone-arch bridges. Originally, the road was to have been closed for about two weeks while the new bridge was installed, and the road would have been completed, except for final grading and landscaping, by the start of December.

Engineers said they feared for the safety of drivers using the old arches because of vibrations and the heavy equipment being used, so selectmen chose to close the road to all traffic.

The old arches have been limited to passenger cars for several years, but some truck drivers were ignoring the posting, selectmen said, prompting the closing.

Selectmen said the road would be closed again in the spring for about two weeks while the railroad crossing is rebuilt and the entire new section of road is paved.

In the meantime, drivers must continue using Pettingill Hill Road, a steep, narrow route about three miles longer than using Route 31.