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South End Bridge work begins ... again

By Michelle Kealey

Staff Writer

AGAWAM Construction on the South End Bridge (Julia B. Buxton Bridge) began on Monday and is expected to be completed in about five weeks just in time for the opening of the 2005 Big E.

According to Erik Abell, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Highway Department, the current work on the bridge is part of the ongoing rehabilitation project for the South End Bridge.

For the portion of the project that began Monday, workers will replace bridge rail on a section of the bridge on the Springfield side of the project limits, Abell said.

"We are making this improvement to bring the bridge rail up to the current standards," he said.

There is a sign before the bridge notifying motorists to expect delays due to the construction.

Although delays will be expected, Abell said that the four lanes to cross the bridge will remain open throughout the construction period.

He added that the four lanes may "be squeezed a bit."

"We expect the work to be done in about the next five weeks prior to the Big E starting," he added.