NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – Progress is the plan for 2013 in Northbridge, much of it involving town roads and bridges.
Ross J. Rajotte Memorial Bridge reconstruction: The Northbridge Board of Selectmen agreed at its last meeting in 2012 to ask state legislators for help in 2013. The bridge, which crosses the Blackstone River in Rockdale, was scheduled for completion this past August but is more than a year behind schedule. Construction is disrupting homes, businesses and traffic flow and officials from the state Department of Transportation have refused to discuss the delay with town leaders.
Sutton Street reconstruction: After more than 10 years of planning, the Sutton Street reconstruction project, which also includes installation of water and sewer lines, should begin in the fall. The cost is $7.6 million.
Douglas Road bridge replacement: Work began on the bridge over the Mumford River on Douglas Road in October. A temporary bridge will allow two-way traffic, but the area will be a construction zone until summer of 2014. The cost is $4.3 million.
Changes to elected boards: The year 2013 begins a major change in the Northbridge School Committee. Because of a Town Charter change approved by voters last May, the committee will be reduced from nine to five members during a three-year period.
New congressman in town: Because of redistricting, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Worcester, will represent Northbridge and the other communities in the 2nd Congressional District. At a meeting with the Northbridge Board of Selectmen last November, McGovern said he looks forward to a close relationship with the community. McGovern was first elected to Congress in 1996 and is minority whip and second-ranking member of the House Rules Committee.