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Route 106 Bridge Work to Affect Easton Traffic

For a three-week span next year, Route 106 near the West Bridgewater town line will be closed. A detour route will be put in place.

If you live in the area of where Route 138 crosses Route 106, you may want to start planning out some alternate routes.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has plans to rebuild a bridge on Route 106 in West Bridgewater just over the town line that will have significant impacts on Easton traffic during construction.

The project, which will occurr in the spring of 2014 at it's earliest, was presented in front of Easton selectmen last week, who approved the preliminary concept.

"It’s not in Easton, but it’s going to impact Easton with a detour route," Easton Department of Public Works Director David Field said. "There will be some impacts for residents and businesses. Although, they can be minimized."

Stantec Consulting Representative Bill Mertz explained that MassDOT chose an option for rebuilding the bridge, which runs over the Hockomock Swamp, that would have the least affect on traffic. At the peak of construction, Route 106 at the area in-between Route 138 and the Charlie Horse will be closed for a three-week period.

A detour route will guide commuters through back roads in West Bridgewater, and will have significant impacts at the Turnpike Street-Purchase Street intersection in Easton.

"During the day, it will be important to have police officers there to direct the traffic," Stantec Santec consultant David DeBaie said. "We are also looking at some temporary traffic signals."

Easton Selectmen expressed concerns over dense traffic at two already dangerous intersections: Route 106 and 138, and Turnpike Street and Purchase Street.

"You’re talking about 2 intersections in our community that are very dangerous already," Board of Selectmen Chair Colleen Corona said, adding that the Purchase Street-Turnpike Street intersection has received an 'F' level of service from the State.

DeBaie said safety was a priority, and the intersections would be decorated with heavy signage, and street lines would be altered to ensure commuters did not get confused.

He said the Turnpike-Purchase intersection would be able to handle the detour for the three-week period of time.

"There will be delays," he said." [The intersection] has the capacity - not to confuse that with the promise of the best level of service. There will be delays."

Engineers also promised selectmen that the detour would not last longer than three weeks, answering concerns from Corona.

"We had that road closing for two years with the Central Street bridge and that was a huge impact," she said.

DeBaie said a public hearing would be held at the 25-percent design stage to inform local residents and businesses. It will likely take place this spring.

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