LEICESTER, Mass. – State Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury) and State Rep. John Binienda (D-Worcester) are backing an amendment tacked onto the state’s 2012 Transportation Bond Bill that would provide $1 million in funding for repairs to Leicester’s Rawson Street Bridge, which now awaits the governor's signature for approval.
The initiative has been a top priority for local officials and would ensure the rehabilitation of a much-used and essential bridge for both citizens and business patrons.
Moore, who put forward the amendment to the bill, said he was proud to play a part in addressing one of Leicester’s most urgent infrastructure needs, explaining that the bridge has experienced more traffic than ever since the addition of the local Wal-Mart.
"Due to the added burden, as well as the need for emergency personnel to access areas of Leicester, this repair is a vital public safety issue,” he said.
For the past 13 years, the Rawson Street Bridge has been in a continuous state of temporary repairs and with each passing season new repairs are required. In particular, the winter takes a heavy toll on the condition of the bridge.
Last winter, for example, town snow plows were unable to access the bridge because the concrete was so damaged that any plowing would have further ruined the surface.
“This funding will go a long way in addressing what has been a huge issue for the Town of Leicester for far too long,” added Binienda. “Repairing the bridge will increase public safety first and foremost, but the overall economic benefits that will stem from this restoration will be felt for years to come. I am very pleased, to say the least.”
Moore continued: “One of the most essential functions of government is to ensure safe and viable roadways for residential and business use. I’m confident this funding will go a long way towards helping both in the future.”
Equally as important, in the event that Route 9 is shut down or is detoured, the Rawson Street Bridge becomes the alternative means for transportation.
Funding still must be approved by the governor before it is made available to the communities.