It is expected to remain closed until noon on Thursday, Sept. 13.
"It's unfortunate that we have to close the bridge, but we are talking about fixing a 50 year old problem," said John O'Keefe, the town manager of Manchester.
The fixes don't stop there. The bridge at the intersection received a safety rating of three out of ten due to cracks in the underlying marble.
Meanwhile, the town has developed a traffic plan.
"We are keeping the public informed as quickly as we can." said Tricia Hayes, the project's public information officer.
The plan calls for cars and large trucks to use the detours around the construction. School Street and Memorial Street will now become a two-way road; however during school opening and closing hours it is best to avoid this route, O'Keefe said.
Wyman Lane and Cottage Street will also become a two-way road, but only for the use of small vehicles. The turning radius
The closure comes at a relatively good time, O'Keefe said, after the rush of Labor Day and before the foliage season starts. This allows the construction to occur without having to work around local traffic, thus speeding up the process.
"The timing is not accidental; following
Pedestrians will still be able to walk around the construction site as well as cyclists, who will need to make a quick jump to the sidewalk.
O'Keefe was adamant about getting the point through that people will be able to get around by walking.
"Most of the time we expect pedestrians will have access to walk past the construction," said O'Keefe.
This is not the first time the intersection has been under major construction. In the Spring of 1884 an iron bridge was built over an old wooden bridge that was becoming a safety issue. Again, in October of 1912, a replacement bridge was built. This bridge consisted
President William Howard Taft was scheduled to present the opening of the new bridge back in 1912 but was unable to make the event. He sent his condolences in a short written letter. President Taft is known for being the largest and most obese President in our history. This past history led to a running joke around town at the time: "if the bridge could hold Taft the bridge could hold anything."
The town will be celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the building of the bridge with a "Centennial Bridge Festival" scheduled to occur Friday, Sept. 7 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The "Don't Leave" band will perform at the Village Green, and an auction will be held for the four flashing lights that used to hang above "Malfunction Junction," along with other items. The proceeds of the auction will benefit local charities.