Lemon Fair Bridge opens up early to traffic
CORNWALL — The new Lemon Fair Bridge on Route 125 in Cornwall officially opened to traffic on Nov. 23 — substantially ahead of schedule, though the project won’t be fully completed until next spring.Vermont Agency of Transportation resident engineer Joe Knipes noted the project hadn’t been scheduled for completion until Nov. 4, 2011. But contractors — Montgomery-based A.L. St. Onge — were able to give extra attention to the project this summer and fall as a result of the challenging economy and good weather, according to Knipes.With not as many jobs on the docket as usual, A.L. St. Onge was able to send more of its workers to the Lemon Fair Bridge site than would have otherwise been the case. That expedited work at what turned out to be a very tricky site characterized by unconfined clay that had to be stabilized with stone to accommodate the new bridge infrastructure. Workers also put in some extra drainage devices to maintain soil stability.The new, 120-foot-long bridge is made with steel girders and a concrete deck. Major tasks to be completed next year include installing guardrail and span railing, and laying intermediate and top paving on the bridge deck, according to Knipes. The state has budgeted a total of around $8.5 million for the project.Work on the project began in early June. The Lemon Fair Bridge had been deteriorating and was long due for replacement. The state budgeted around $3.1 million for the construction phase of the project.“We should be on budget,” Knipes said.Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].