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A new bridge recently approved for scenic Carter Hill Road will carry some of the original design features of the flood-damaged bridge it replaces. The Board of Selectmen (BOS) has approved the design for scheduled improvements on the Carter Hill Road bridge that are slated to begin in 2022.
At the Sept. 25 BOS meeting, GM2 Associates project manager Dennis Garceau presented plans for the bridge to the board. The design recommended by Garceau will cost $1.9 million, of which 80 percent is funded under a federal bridge grant program. The town’s contribution to the project would be $380,000.
Garceau said that under the proposed plan, the bridge will maintain the existing stone walls, which will help it blend in more with the character of the road. Some residents had asked that the designs for the bridge match the road’s scenic designation. Garceau said that efforts would be taken so that construction would have a minimal impact on the environment
The project is anticipated to start in 2022 and be finished in the fall of that year. During construction, there will be road closures to accommodate the work. The new bridge will be about 38 feet long and will have a 75-year life. The BOS unanimously approved the plan.
The Carter Hill Road bridge that spans the Menunketesuck River was built in the 1930s. In recent years, the structure has been damaged by repeated flooding over several years. An inspection report showed that the bridge needed to be replaced. The bridge is inspected every two years by the state Department of Transportation (DOT).
A DOT report from 2016 noted that the 23-foot-long bridge had a rating of overall rating indicting a “fair” condition. However, the same report also noted that the substructure of the bridge was rated as “poor” and that several cracks were present in the structure.
Earlier in 2019 there were two other public hearing on the design of the bridge where residents were able to weigh in with their thoughts. A $10,700,00 bonding appropriation for various capital improvement projects was also approved by voters in the most recent budget referendum. Two of the projects included in the bonding package were improvements to the Kelseytown Road bridge and Carter Hill Road bridge.
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