Bristol bridge to reappear summer 2012

BRISTOL — The Bristol selectboard is moving forward with plans for repair of the South Street Bridge, which was closed a little over a month ago due to safety concerns. Out of the three proposed options, the board at a meeting Monday evening decided to go with the first, and most expedient, option.
This puts the reopening of the bridge on track for summer of 2012 at the earliest.
The selected $2.1-million plan will involve installing a new truss, or straight girder, that will allow the bridge to be rebuilt without having to significantly alter or widen the road. Selectboard members said they hope that by keeping the road as is, they will continue to discourage people from driving at high speeds through the area.
Town administer Bill Bryant accepted the task of drafting a letter to state transportation officials that will reiterate the board’s decision to go with the option that will replace the bridge as quickly as possible without altering the road alignment, as well as the town’s agreement to cover 10 percent of the cost, with the state making up the difference.
Bryant said the selectboard made the decision on which design now so that engineers could to do the test borings in New Haven River banks this fall. The design process will formally get under way this fall and is due to wrap up in fall 2011.
“If all goes smoothly, it is possible (the project) could be finished by the summer of 2012,” Bryant said.
Tamara Hilmes is at [email protected].

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