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Town and Village

Damage to Green River Bridge extends detour

GUILFORD—Travelers expecting to cross the Green River Covered Bridge at the beginning of September must make new plans.

Because of newly discovered damage to part of the bridge’s truss, the detour is extended to Friday, Sept. 30.

The bridge was originally supposed to reopen at the end of August.

Town Administrator Katie Buckley issued an announcement Aug. 4 with details on how the damage was discovered and what locals and visitors can expect.

Workers found a significant section of rot on the bridge’s southeast upper chord, which is a principal part of the truss. They discovered it recently while fixing the bridge’s siding. As a result, workers increased repairing the siding from 25 percent to a complete replacement.

“While replacing this section of chord sounds simple, it is really quite complicated,” says the announcement, which appears on the town’s website, guilfordvt.net.

Everyone on the project team, including the design and construction engineers, the contractor, and the state and town project managers, agree that for safety’s sake, the work must be done as part of this project.

“The town would be negligent to defer it,” the announcement says.

“We realize that this is a large burden on, and inconvenience to, our residents on the west side of the bridge. We also realize that school starts on Tuesday, Aug. 30,” the announcement says.

The town and the contractor, Wright Construction, worked out a compromise to help kids get to school. Wright will open the bridge — to pedestrian traffic only — when the school bus arrives to pick up children in the morning and drop them off in the afternoon.

The town’s announcement notes that “after the bus leaves, the bridge will resume being closed.”

Details on the plans are pending and will appear on the town website when finalized.

“We are incredibly sorry for having to deliver this bad news but it is unavoidable,” the announcement says. Buckley invites those with questions or concerns to contact her at the Town Offices via email at guilfordta@yahoo.com.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #369 (Wednesday, August 10, 2016). This story appeared on page A4.

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