Replacing the Cradock Bridge in Medford Square will cost about $8.5 million and take three construction seasons to complete, according to state officials.
At least three lanes will be open for traffic at all times during construction on the bridge, which takes cars and pedestrians on Main Street over the Mystic River. Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2014, Project Manager Paul King said during a presentation to the Medford City Council last week.
The design features of the new bridge will include small arches and other design details that are considered historic elements of the current bridge, built in 1909, King said.
The remnants of a dam beneath the bridge, which are non-functional, will also be removed as part of the project, King said. Two lanes heading south out of Medford Square and one lane heading north will remain open throughout construction.
Since it is a state road, the Department of Transportation is paying for the entirety of the project. Still, Councilor Robert Penta expressed his surprise over the price tag.
“What are you building here a mausoleum?" Penta said last Tuesday. "This is nothing more than a bridge.”
The project was originally expected to cost $2.5 million, but that went up significantly during the design process.
The city will be expecting mitigation from the project, Penta said.
"I think we need to know where we’re going with the mitigation before we go any further for this," he said.
Councilors also asked whether it would be possible to create space for a bus stop on the bridge, which would allow for the current stop further north on Main Street to be moved there. But King said that was probably not possible since the new bridge will maintain the same foot print as the current one.
A public hearing will be held in October in Medford for the project.