by Thomas Hydro
As the rest of the state is preparing for what could be a harsh winter, Hudson is preparing for a completely different kind of storm. At the beginning of November, work crews began preparations for the project that promises to bring Hudson’s newfound bustling downtown life to a standstill.
The town of Hudson has decided to rebuild the Washington Street bridge that sits right outside of the downtown area — the main route in and out of town. The construction plan was presented because of a project being undertaken by the Mass Department of Transportation (DOT) to widen roadways and make them safer for travel. The proposed plan is expected to cost around $3,000,000 and take approximately 14 months, with it being expected to be open to traffic in eight of those months according to a DOT handout.
Regardless of the intentions of the reconstruction, this project will surely cause many problems for many people.
As Hudson has welcomed new businesses to its downtown area like the Rail Trail, New City Creamery, and Medusa, it has become a buzzing town even on weeknights. But, with the bridge expected to be closed for around half of the construction process, these businesses could see a drop in business. Having difficulty reaching their destination may turn customers away from going to these businesses. This may be true for only a handful of people, but it still takes away from the profits of businesses in town.
In addition to this potential drop in business, this could make winter travel even more difficult for the people of Hudson. With one of the main routes in and out of town being closed down for the winter, drivers will have to find alternate routes on side roads that may become backed up, making commutes longer, and possibly more dangerous. And with the winter that may be coming our way, the construction may see delay after delay, drawing out inconveniences to the public even longer.
Another issue that this will cause is the bus routes to the high school will have to be changed. As a student who uses the bus to get to school, I can say that my bus and several others use the Washington Street bridge to get onto Brigham Street in the mornings. As construction begins and the bridge closes, the bus routes will have to be altered to find another way to get to the high school. Buses may need to begin their routes earlier to account for the additional time it will take to reach the school, meaning that kids will have to get up even earlier, depriving them of much needed rest before each school day.
The construction may be needed, but the timing is incredibly poor as winter begins to set in and students going to school rely on the bridge to get them to their destination every school day.