Storm damages bridge
King’s Brook Road scene of ‘moderate emergency’
WILTON — A storm last week caused damage to the King’s Brook Road stone bridge, closing the road to traffic.
During Monday’s Select Board meeting, Department of Public Works Director Steve Elliott termed the situation a “moderate emergency,” saying that the damage would be repaired in house by the DPW, but noting that the damage was unanticipated, and so, too, was the cost of fixing the bridge.
According to Elliott, he was informed after a heavy rainstorm on Aug. 13 that the stone wall that edges the stone bridge on King’s Brook Road had collapsed, taking with it about three feet of pavement on the edge of the road. The arch of the bridge itself was relatively undamaged, Elliott said.
The Department of Public Works is repairing the wall damage with stone, said Elliot. The road has been closed and posted, and there have been concrete Jersey barriers erected to block off traffic.
“People can pass, but it’s on their own dime,” said Elliott, of the accessibility of the road.
Former Select Board member Charlie McGettigan suggested that better maintenance could have prevented the collapse.
“If we could keep our ditches clean and clear, we wouldn’t have a problem,” he said.
The King’s Brook Road bridge is one of several bridges in town that is on the state’s Red List, which means it requires more frequent inspection and may have stricter restrictions on things such as weight allowed to travel over it than a non-Red Listed bridge. It is slated to be approved for state bridge aid to assist in replacing or repairing in 2022.
Former Select Board member Dan Donovan said he was not confident in the aid being forthcoming, pointing out that during past discussions with the state about bridge aid, the town was promised funds as soon as 2013.
“And we’ve yet to see a penny of it. What that shows for 2022...” he said, allowing the crowd to draw its own implications.
Elliott agreed that state aid was slow in coming, informing the board that multiple people have expressed interest in the prefabricated replacement recently installed next to the Frye Measure Mill. Elliott had proposed a last minute warrant article last March to raise $80,000 to replace the bridge — a cost that was less than the 20 percent contribution that the town would have made under the state’s bridge aid program, which would have left the town waiting several more years.