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Opinion: Bridges traffic could be limited

The Addison Independent’s lead story on July 28, “Another delay for rail bridges project,” quoted selectman Nick Artim to the effect that another delay would not merely be inconvenient but “raise more concerns about the stability of the two downtown bridges that are deteriorating at a rapid rate.” The article goes on to say that “town officials have been concerned about catastrophic failure of the bridges, or an inspection that could force their closure.”
My question is simple: If things are really that dire, why do our authorities continue to permit large numbers of enormously heavy multi-axle trailer trucks to roll over these failing bridges instead of rerouting them without delay over the new bridge or beyond town? It would be hard to justify failure to take such a precaution if one of the bridges were actually to collapse, causing injuries and loss of life and an immediate traffic crisis for the region. What’s more, officials should insist on increasingly frequent safety inspections of the bridges to stay abreast of the level of risk involved for motorists and pedestrians and regularly publish the results.
Being concerned, if the risks are indeed so high, is no longer good enough.
George Jaeger
New Haven

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