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State changes weight limit on River Road bridge

Detour set after state inspection finds structural damage

NEWFANE—The Agency of Transportation recently reduced the weight limit on the River Road bridge in response to an inspection that found damage to the structure.

The new load limit is 16,000 pounds, effective immediately, on Bridge 38, located at the intersection of Brook Street on the south end of River Road.

“No trucks should be going over that with any more [weight] than what it’s posted at,” Road Foreman Todd Lawley told the Selectboard at their Nov. 21 regular meeting.

For now, all trucks, including Newfane’s plow and grader, will have to detour over Radway Hill to avoid the bridge. Lawley said the town’s usual plow trucks will avoid the bridge; the town’s one-ton pickup trucks will plow it instead.

Administrative Assistant Shannon Meckle asks residents to warn their fuel oil companies and other delivery drivers of the detour. “People can access River Road (on the other side of the bridge) by going Route 30 to Radway Hill Road to River Road,” Meckle told The Commons.

“It does concern me the fire apparatus is going to get delayed to sections of River Road now, possibly by 10 minutes,” said Lawley, who also is chief of the NewBrook Fire Department.

Lawley, who also is Selectboard chair, told his colleagues he and Marc Pickering of the Agency of Transportation, and Mike Renaud of Renaud Brothers, Inc., examined the bridge and deemed its condition critical for repairs.

“It needs new I-beams and possibly a new deck,” Lawley said, noting Renaud said he may be able to reuse the wooden deck; if not, the bridge will get a new concrete deck.

Lawley said Renaud will submit two quotes: one for reusing the wooden deck and one for the concrete deck, and both quotes will include I-beam replacement.

The bridge may get moved up the Agency’s list of bridges needing replacement, and money may be available from the state to fund the repairs, Lawley said.

“We are seeking financial assistance on the repairs, so the timeline really depends on when we have the funds. We recently wrote a letter to Windham Regional Commission asking for their help in seeking funding,” said Meckle.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #385 (Wednesday, November 30, 2016). This story appeared on page C1.

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