WEST NEWBURY — A public meeting to review design alternatives and preliminary cost estimates associated with the reconstruction of the Middle Street bridge is scheduled for later this month.

The session, co-sponsored with the City of Newburyport, is slated for Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. in the first-floor hearing room of the 1910 Town Office Building, 381 Main St.

The bridge, also known as the Plummer Spring Road bridge, was closed to vehicular traffic last summer following a failure in the spandrel wall.

Newburyport officials secured a Small Bridge Program grant from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to support engineering and design of a replacement bridge. Since that time, the two communities have been working together with the design engineer, BSC Group.

The design engineer recently completed a number of conceptual design alternatives and associated preliminary cost estimates. The purpose of the upcoming meeting is to invite public review and comment. Roadway width, pedestrian accommodations, bridge type, railing type, vehicular speed control and traffic safety, and project cost are considered key issues for review.

The two communities plan to weigh public input, costs, and other factors, before selecting a preferred conceptual alternative, after which BSC Group will proceed with final project design and permitting. Once permitting is complete, and a final estimate of construction costs is available, the project is expected to be proposed for funding based on an agreed cost share between the two communities, and offset by further grant monies if possible.

The meeting will be televised on West Newbury local cable TV, with video of the session available afterward online on the West Newbury YouTube channel.

For further information, contact DPW Director Wayne Amaral, 978-363-1100, ext. 120, or dpwdirector@wnewbury.org; or Newburyport City Engineer Jon-Eric White, 978-465-4464, ext. 1710, or JEWhite@CityofNewburyport.com.

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