Wilton: Red List bridge to be reconstructed

  • Engineering work for the reconstruction of the King Brook Road bridge is set to begin. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Engineering work for the reconstruction of the King Brook Road bridge is set to begin. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 8/24/2016 7:06:17 PM

A contract has been approved to start engineering work for the reconstruction of King Brook Road Bridge.

The Select Board approved the engineering contract, as well as subcontractors to assess the historical and cultural value of the bridge and to assess the soil surrounding it, during its meeting on Monday night.

The engineering of the bridge, which is currently on the state’s Red List, will take approximately $100,000.

Red List bridges are determined by the state to be in need of repair, and can be subject to additional inspections or weight limit restrictions, though they are considered safe for travel.

The majority of the cost – 80 percent – will be covered by the state’s Department of Transportation Bridge Aid Program. Wilton raised the funds – $70,000 from the bridge capital reserve and $33,090 from taxation – to cover its portion of the cost of both engineering and construction during March Town Meeting.

The construction of the bridge is anticipated to happen in the later half of 2017. The total cost is anticipated to be $515,450, with $412,360 reimbursed by the state.

When the reconstruction of the bridge is complete, it will leave the town with one Red List bridge left on its rolls, but with at least one other in jeopardy.

Select Board Chair Kermit Williams noted that the Select Board will be considering submitting at least one of the town’s borderline bridges to be added to the list to receive state aid – though it hasn’t reached the point of needing to be on the Red List yet, said Williams, the wait time to receive state bridge aid is currently upward of 10 years.

The wait time has become so burdensome, said Williams, that Wilton has been forced to “get creative” with some of its repairs in recent years, he said.

For example, the town completed replacement of The Frye’s Measure Mill bridge on its own, after the weight limit for the bridge excluded emergency vehicles. The exclusion presented safety problems for the few homes where that was the only entrance or egress point. 

The town was able to install a pre-fabricated slab bridge for less than the cost of what its contribution to the state’s replacement would have been, said Williams. While less of a “Cadillac” option, it meant that the problem was solved in the moment, rather than years down the line. 

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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