Lemon Fair Bridge work proceeds

CORNWALL — Construction crews have been busy preparing a temporary span on which to divert Route 125 traffic during the upcoming replacement of the Lemon Fair Bridge in Cornwall.
“We’re within a week or two of shipping traffic over the temporary bridge, then we will work on the new bridge,” Vermont Agency of Transportation resident Engineer Joe Knipes said late last week.
As of last Friday, workers from Montgomery-based A.L. St. Onge had completed around two-thirds of the temporary bridge alignment and were paving the temporary detour. The temporary span is being built next to the old Route 125 bridge, which will be demolished. It will be replaced by a new, 120-foot-long bridge made with steel girders and a concrete deck, according to Knipes.
The Lemon Fair Bridge has been deteriorating and has been long due for replacement. The state has budgeted a total of around $8.5 million for the project, which should be completed by the fall of 2011, according to Knipes.
Construction has been buoyed by fair weather but workers have been challenged by soils at the site.
“The soil is unconfined clay,” Knipes explained. “It is really soft. We’ve pounded stone into the clay to stiffen it up.”
Workers have also installed some extra drainage measures to help maintain soil stability.
On the bright side, Mother Nature has been cooperating nicely.
“We’ve had good weather,” Knipes said. “It’s been a dry summer.”
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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