Plainfield Bridge Needs $ 400,000 Repair | Local news


PLAINFIELD – Local officials have been told that the Main Street Bridge needs approximately $ 400,000 in repairs.

The board discussed the bridge at its regular meeting on Tuesday evening.

The city is in the process of installing a pedestrian walkway on the side of the bridge. The project revealed structural problems with the bridge.

In 2006, the city had the bridge redone. This project included the installation of a membrane between the asphalt surface of the road and the concrete of the bridge itself. But the pedestrian bridge project found that the membrane was not sealing properly, so water was able to seep between the membrane and the concrete, causing the concrete to erode on the surface and the support beams. The concrete has worn down to the point that water can flow directly through the bridge.

The city hired Neil H. Daniels Inc. of Ascutney for the pedestrian project. City officials asked the contractor for an estimate of the repairs needed for the bridge.

Board member Tammy Farnham, who served as the de facto project manager, said on Tuesday the repairs are estimated at $ 400,000. This includes $ 175,000 for the support beams and $ 225,000 for the decking. She said the project could be reduced by $ 50,000 if the city closed the bridge completely during the project, which should take two to three months, instead of reducing it to a single lane for traffic to flow.

Closing a bridge has been discussed as part of the state’s planned fix for the intersection between Highway 2 and Main Street. It’s a controversial move as business owners in the lower village have said they will lose access to customers via Route 2. The town will also have to seat a fire truck on Route 2 during the repair. from the intersection in case there is a fire at the top of the village because the fire department is located at the bottom of the village.

Farnham had suggested doing the bridge repairs at the same time as the intersection repair so that the bridge only had to be closed once. Board member Sasha Thayer said from what the city said the intersection repair was years away and the bridge might not have that much time.

It is not yet known how the city will pay for repairs to the bridge. City officials are reviewing available grants and loans, and Farnham said she attended a webinar on the recently passed infrastructure bill to see if those funds could be used for this project.

Council members said they would review the 2006 records to see which contractor was then used for the resurfacing of the bridge and what the contract said to see if they had any recourse against the poorly sealed membrane.

The board of directors is finalizing the city’s budget for approval by voters on the day of the city assembly in March. She didn’t give a figure, but Thayer suggested adding a significant amount to the budget to help pay for bridge repairs.

When the bridge’s structural problems were discovered last month, Thayer slammed the state for telling the city the bridge was structurally sound a few years ago when officials were discussing the pedestrian bridge and whether such a project made sense if the bridge, which was built in the 1920s, needed to be replaced. Thayer again expressed his displeasure on Tuesday with state inspections of the bridge, which take place every two years, for failing to detect these issues.

“You would think that if there had been leaks from this membrane for a long time, someone related to bridges and doing bridge inspections would have actually noticed,” she said.

Thayer said if the city had been made aware of the bridge’s problems, authorities would likely have invested money in repairing the bridge rather than a pedestrian bridge. The city is using a federal grant to pay for most of the pedestrian bridge project, with the city’s matching coming from a loan of approximately $ 65,000, as well as funds from the Arch Batchelder Fund. The city also spent just over $ 21,000 to design the project.

Farnham said the city had all inspection reports. Council members said they would look at those reports to see what they said.

Farnham said he was told the bridge had suffered significant erosion over the past two years.


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