Bridge of Flowers FAQ

Bridge of Flowers Structural Improvement Project
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
As of August 16, 2023
1. When will the construction project start? When will it end? To complete
this construction project the bridge will need to be closed for an extended
period of time. Since design and engineering are still underway, the exact
construction start date and duration of the project have not yet been finalized.
The announcement of the project schedule is expected to be released in late
summer/early fall 2023. The bridge will close at the end of its usual season, in
late October/early November 2023, and will be closed as needed through the
2024 season.
2. Will people be able to go on to the Bridge of Flowers during construction?
No. The Bridge will be closed to the public on both the Buckland and
Shelburne sides of the Deerfield River. Only authorized personnel will be
allowed in the construction zone.
3. Will all the plants be removed? All plantings and soil will be removed so that
repairs can be made to the bridge structure and a new water line installed.
4. When will the plants be removed? The schedule for the plantings to be
removed is being worked on. It is likely that most plantings will be removed
during the period when the Bridge of Flowers is usually closed, from Nov. 1
through March 31, although some plants may be removed at other times, if that
is determined to be best for the health of the plantings.
5. Where will the plants go? The Bridge of Flowers Committee is developing a
plan to relocate and store plantings. For example, some plantings may be
temporarily located in a new public garden in the village and/or on private
property around the area.
6. Are donations or volunteers needed to remove, relocate and store, and/or
return plants? Visit the Bridge of Flowers website for information about how
to donate or volunteer:
7. Will the Bridge of Flowers garden look the same when the project is done?
As plantings and other elements are returned, they may be located to new spots
that are appropriate for the bridge structure and good for the health of the
plantings and overall look of the garden.
8. What structural improvements will be made to the bridge? To rehabilitate
the bridge structure and prevent cracking as seen on the northeast side spandrel
wall from reoccurring, existing tie rods that connect the sides of the bridge will
be evaluated and repaired or replaced as needed. Adjustments will be made to
the fill materials and improvements to the drainage system to prevent water
from building up. In addition, surface improvements will be made, such as
crack and spall (chipped cement) repairs and coating the bridge. All this work
will preserve the bridge and extend its life.
9. Will there be other improvements made to the Bridge of Flowers? There
will be upgrades to the railings, lighting, pathway, and electrical and irrigation
systems as the budget and schedule allow. The Bridge is currently American
with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant and any changes and improvements
made will also be ADA-compliant.
10. When was the last time structural improvements were made to the Bridge
of Flowers? The last major structural improvements made to the 115-year-old
trolley bridge was in 1983. At that time, all plantings and soil were removed
and an extensive restoration project undertaken.
11. The COVID-19 pandemic was difficult for village businesses. How will
these businesses fare during construction? The economic impact of the
pandemic was difficult for businesses everywhere, including in the village of
Shelburne Falls. It is important to keep the village vibrant and attractive for
both residents and visitors to enjoy and spend money in local shops and
restaurants. West County Arts & Culture, the Bridge of Flowers Committee,
and other local arts organizations and businesses are planning activities and
events to keep people engaged and returning to the village throughout the
construction period.
12. Who owns the Bridge of Flowers? The Shelburne Falls Fire District owns the
bridge an important element of the District’s water supply system for
Shelburne Falls as it carries the water line for the Buckland side of the village
under the bridge gardens. The District is a unit of local government,
independent of Buckland and Shelburne town governments. The District was
enacted in 1855 and provides water, ambulance, and fire services within the
13. Who is paying for this project? And how much will it cost? The Shelburne
Falls Fire District received a $2.28 million MassWorks Infrastructure grant
from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Every effort is being made to keep
the project cost within the available budget. Additional improvements or
upgrades that are not part of the original scope may be paid for by
contributions from the Bridge of Flowers Committee.
14. Who is the contractor doing this project? Once design and engineering is
complete, bid-ready documents will be prepared and a public procurement
process conducted to select a contractor to complete construction.
15. How long will the improvements last? Structural improvements are being
designed with the intention of extending the life of the bridge for the next
several decades.
16. How can I learn more about this project and its progress? Later this
summer/early fall, the Shelburne Falls Fire District will host a public
information session with Tighe & Bond about the project. Tighe & Bond
engineers will present the project design and provide an opportunity for people
to ask questions. The Shelburne Falls Fire District will release the project
schedule in late summer/early fall. Throughout the construction project,
periodic progress updates will be released by the District in concert with the
Bridge of Flowers Committee.
Periodic updates will be available at