On Monday, Oct. 3, USDA Rural Development Southern New England, joined the Leino Park Water District in opening the newly completed Leino Park bridge in Westminster, MA to vehicle traffic.
USDA Rural Development awarded $1,100.000 in loan funding through Rural Development’s Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program to the Water District in 2018. The Leino Park Water District provided an additional $253,000 toward the project. The funding was used to remove the existing bridge on Wyman Pond in Westminster, MA and replaced it with a timber structure, which was designed, engineered, and built on-site. Total construction time, from closing the old bridge to opening the new bridge, took a little over five months.
The project addressed an urgent public safety hazard in the community's infrastructure. The old 100-year-old steel and macadam bridge was not fit to carry emergency service vehicles to 61 residential homes served by the Leino Park Water District. Volunteers from the community were making monthly repairs to keep the bridge open.
“The Leino Park Bridge project demonstrates the ability of USDA Rural Development, and particularly our talented State Office staff, to find creative solutions for the sometimes-unique challenges faced by our rural communities” said State Director Scott Soares, “In this case, support through our community programs addressed a critical community need in establishing adequate access for emergency services to the Leino Park Community that otherwise would not have been attainable.”
USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Programs include direct loans, loan guarantees and grants to develop or improve essential public services and facilities in communities across rural America. These amenities help increase the competitiveness of rural communities in attracting and retaining businesses that provide employment and services for their residents.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools,