P/cloudy
61°
P/cloudy
Hi 79° | Lo 59°

State approves Francestown bridge plans

  • The Francestown Select Board met with road agent Gary Paige on Monday night to discuss bridge construction updates.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Brandon Lawrence)
  • The Francestown Select Board met with road agent Gary Paige on Monday night to discuss bridge construction updates.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Brandon Lawrence)

FRANCESTOWN — The state’s Department of Transportation reviewed and approved design plans for a temporary bridge to be built on the 2nd N.H. Turnpike in Francestown, and were sent back to CLD Engineers for one last review before getting the engineers’ stamp of approval.

Once CLD Engineers, the town’s engineering consulting firm, finalizes the designs town officials can send out requests for bids for the labor and equipment that cannot be supplied by the town’s Highway Department.

In a meeting Monday night, the town Select Board met with Road Agent Gary Paige and resident Henry Kunhardt, who is serving as a volunteer engineer on the project, to discuss updates to the temporary bridge construction timeline. Paige said the DOT was not able to view bridge plans until Monday because the focus for the state had been on the Sarah Long Bridge in Portsmouth, where an accident took place on April 1. A 500-foot tanker had broken loose of its moorings and crashed into the bridge connecting Maine and New Hampshire, causing an estimated $2.5 million worth of structural damage to the bridge, which drew the DOT’s attention to the coast.

After reviewing the temporary bridge plans for the 2nd N.H. Turnpike, the DOT made some minor lighting changes. The state suggested adding either a streetlight or stop signs with flashing lights around the edges to alert drivers to stop at the stop signs at both ends of the bridge.

“There will need to be stop signs on both sides of the bridge,” Paige said Monday night. It would be especially dangerous to travel over the bridge — a one-lane bridge — at high speeds, he said.

Once the plans have engineering stamps of approval, the town can begin requesting bids for excavators, hauling equipment for the heavy bridge beams and jersey barriers, and lumber decking, Paige noted.

The Select Board agreed Monday night to advertise locally for lumber bids, and to put ads in local newspapers requesting excavation bids.

“Any material hauling can be done in-house by our own guys,” Paige said. He added that about 200 yards of material out of the roadbed will need to be hauled and moved elsewhere.

There is no timetable for CLD to finalize the plans, but town officials expect a week should be plenty of time. “Upon receipt of construction plans, we will advertise for things going out to bid,” Select Board member Abigail Arnold said Monday.

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.