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Jon Winkler / Nashoba Valley Voice
Fitch’s Bridge in Groton, which is set to be worked on by the town Department of Public Works.

GROTON — With one sidewall fixed up, another sidewall of a local footbridge is getting a facelift later this summer.

The Department of Public Works will be repairing the western upstream sidewall of Fitch’s Bridge, nearly a year after the eastern upstream sidewall was repaired. Town Meeting on April 29 authorized $45,000 for repairs.

DPW Director Tom Delaney said the old sidewall will be dismantled and replaced with a new wall, along with additional improvements to the drainage at the bridge.

The department is waiting until August or September to start work, because there will be less chance of rain.

Delaney said final price tag for the work will likely come in $15,000 under budget. Delaney said $45,000 was allocated to have enough money in case of additional engineering services and permitting come up during the work. Leftover money will be returned to the town’s Community Preservation fund.

“There was evidence of failure in the wall and we were seeing that it’s falling apart,” Delaney said.

The eastern upstream sidewall of the six-year-old bridge was repaired last September. Earthscapes, Inc., owned by Selectman Josh Degen, was hired to fix the wall.

The Conservation Commission and DPW wanted changes beyond Degen’s original estimate, including a new, longer wall at a different angle to provide additional support.

The town considered the work an emergency, which allowed it to supersede the state’s $10,000 limit on no-bid work.

“We would’ve had to close the bridge and maybe shut down the river for kayaking if we waited three weeks for bidding,” Degen said. “It was quite an emergency.”

Degen’s company is not involved in the new project.

Jon Winkler:

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