Windy Row Bridge barrels vandalized, replaced with barriers

  • The bridge on Windy Row in Hancock over the spillway for Halfmoon Pond is closed following the results of a recent inspection. Sept. 10, 2020. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton

  • View from Hancock's rescue boat, which was used to retrieve traffic control barrels that were dumped over the side of Windy Row Bridge earlier this week. Nov. 23, 2020 Courtesy image—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/25/2020 4:29:15 PM

The Hancock Highway Department reinforced the barriers delineating the closed lane on the Windy Row bridge on Tuesday after traffic control barrels were thrown into the Halfmoon Pond spillway on two separate occasions.

The 224-foot-long bridge was red-listed due to deterioration on its west side during a regularly scheduled inspection on Aug. 27. The rating, which came as a surprise, prompted DPW Director Tyler Howe to close it down to single-lane traffic while the town waits on funds from NH DOT Bridge Aid.

DPW and Fire Department personnel have since had to fish traffic control barrels out of the water below the bridge twice after vandals tossed them over. “The first time in a canoe was fun,” Howe said at Monday’s Select Board meeting, but less so the second time, when workers had to push through a half inch of ice in the town’s rescue boat to recover the barrels.

There are now jersey barriers in place on either end of the bridge, and barrels are chained to those barriers, Town Administrator Jonathan Coyne said, and a painted stripe delineates the remaining travel lane on the bridge. Hancock personnel are keeping Peterborough first responders abreast of their changes to ensure no agency is caught by surprise in case of an emergency that necessitates travel across the bridge, Howe said.

Residents are requested to contact the Hancock Police Department if they have information on the people responsible for moving the traffic control barrels.

The bridge was built in 1949, and the August inspection report detailed several instances of deteriorated conditions on various parts of the bridge, most notably several “through-holes” on the west side of the bridge and deteriorated steel due to salt water flow, as previously reported. The NH DOT Bridge Aid program allows municipalities to pay 20 percent of the bridge reconstruction cost and state and federal funds cover the rest. The program is booked a couple years out.


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