Board airs concerns about bridge closure
By SANDI SWITZER
Correspondent | January 18,2013
CLARENDON — The owner of a car dealership wants to be sure potential customers can find his shop and other businesses when a nearby bridge is closed for repairs.
Thomas LaVictory met with the town’s Select Board this week regarding state transportation officials’ plans to close a 1927 single-span concrete bridge on Walker Mountain Road during the work.
He said several businesses could be impacted if clearly marked detours were not in place. “Tom is rightfully concerned about the closure and his business,” Selectman Arthur Knox said.
LaVictory also expressed concerns for residents living near the bridge who may need emergency responders.
State transportation officials have scheduled the repairs to take place during the summer of 2015 and anticipate the project to last about a month.
Residents, business owners and town officials have expressed a number of concerns with regard to the project during two public hearings, according to Select Board Chairman Michael Klopchin.
He noted safety issues, response times to accidents or fires as well as clearly marked detours around the closure were chief among their concerns.
“It would cost $125,000 or more if the town wants to put in a temporary bridge,” Klopchin said.
According to a state Agency of Transportation report, Bridge 11 over Clarendon River on Walker Mountain Road located a mile east of the intersection with Route 133 garnered a “poor” deck rating, a “poor” superstructure rating and a “fair” substructure rating.
Under the AOT’s Accelerated Bridge Program, the work would be expedited if the structure was closed rather than a temporary bridge installed.
“Several local roads could be affected by an increase in local traffic – Teer Road, Schoolhouse Hill Road and Quarterline Road,” the report noted.
Municipal officials said this week the town may need to widen a portion of Schoolhouse Hill Road before the bridge project begins.
The board approved a motion to enter into an agreement for the bridge closure in 2015 for about a month. The motion included language requesting adequate detour and business location signage.