Rutland City engineer seeks quick fix for bridge
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | June 19,2013
City officials are calling for a quick fix to the Crescent Street bridge.
City Engineer Evan Pilachowski has asked the Board of Aldermen to approve one of two short-term solutions outlined in an engineering report on the bridge.
“Given the construction schedule for 2014, it is extremely important that the Crescent St. Bridge be available as an alternative route throughout 2014,” Pilachowski wrote in a letter presented to the aldermen Monday. “It is important to act quickly to select a short-term solution if we are going to have any chance of completing the repairs in 2013.”
Road and bridge work planned for next year is so extensive that Mayor Christopher Louras has said he is planning a public information campaign to begin this year preparing residents for the disruption.
Pilachowski, addressing the board Monday, characterized the short-term solutions as “patching” that would preserve the bridge for another five to 10 years and said the longer-term solutions included complete replacement and a reconstruction similar to the one done last year on West Street.
The board unanimously referred the issue to the Public Works Committee, and Chairman Thomas DePoy said he had already scheduled a meeting on it for tonight at 5:30 p.m.
The Crescent Street Bridge is part of a five-year bridge repair plan for which voters approved a $2 million bond in 2012. Originally scheduled for further in the future, Crescent Street moved up in the rotation after the state took responsibility for the River Street Bridge.
Pilachowski has described the Crescent Street Bridge as showing deterioration in the deck, abutments and railings and had said he hoped repairs could put off replacement for 10 to 15 years. The bridge was closed for two days in April for an engineering assessment that generated the report with the options.
Hoyle, Tanner & Associates of New Hampshire conducted the study, and Pilachowski also asked the board to authorize a contract with the firm for the engineering work necessary to implement the short-term solution.