Side view of new Umpachene Falls Road bridge.

Umpachene Falls Road River Bridge Replacement

New bridge provides increased mobility inside a popular local park

Our Client’s Challenge

Just outside New Marlborough, Massachusetts, sits the verdant Umpachene Falls Park. The park is a regional recreational staple, featuring a beautiful waterfall from the Konkapot River and lush natural scenery.

In 1950, the Umpachene Falls Road bridge was erected as a single-span, steel, three-girder superstructure with timber decking. Over the next 60-plus years, the bridge became worn and, in 2012, was closed to vehicular traffic due to a “structurally deficient” rating.

Our Solution

Gannett Fleming provided engineering design and construction-phase services for the Umpachene Falls Road over Konkapot River bridge replacement project. Our team developed the preliminary and final design of the bridge and approach roadways, including:

  • Coordination of utility relocations.
  • Roadside safety/guardrail improvements.
  • Landscaping design.
  • Environmental permitting.
  • Community outreach.

We also provided construction engineering support in partnership with the contractor and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) district inspection team.

Gannett Fleming designed a replacement bridge structure with prestressed concrete adjacent box beams on cantilevered abutments. The team used prestressed concrete bridge elements as an accelerated bridge construction (ABC) solution, which compressed the project schedule. ABC techniques also allowed the bridge beams to be fabricated in a more controlled environment before being shipped to the project site, enhancing the overall quality of the bridge elements.

Given the remote project site and constrained public right-of-way, construction access and staging required careful consideration during design.

Gannett Fleming designed the bridge structure using staged construction to maintain public access throughout the project. The approach roadways on each side of the bridge were narrow, and the areas beyond were heavily vegetated. Requirements for cranes and other construction equipment to demolish the existing bridge and install beams for the new bridge required clearing some of this vegetation beyond the roadway limits.

Our team identified the optimal alternative for this. Working closely with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, we developed solutions for mitigating the work that included new wildlife landscaping, removal of invasive vegetation, and measures for beaver control to protect new and existing trees within the project area.

Key Features

  • New bridge over the Konkapot River.
  • Drainage system improvements.
  • New wildlife landscaping.
  • Removal of invasive vegetation.


  • Improved public access to Umpachene Falls Park.
  • Heightened roadway safety.
  • Preservation of character of the surrounding park environment.
  • Enhanced recreational mobility to the public recreational facilities.

Awards & Recognition

  • American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Massachusetts, 2023, Bronze Award.


Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Division


New Marlborough, Mass.


Design, Construction Engineering Support

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