ALGIERS—With the bisection of Algiers village looming for the coming Route 5 bridge replacement, Jill Barrett, the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s public information officer, has begun issuing weekly updates on a special page on the AOT’s website.
Beginning July 10, the bridge over Broad Brook will be closed to all traffic for four weeks.
Renaud Bros., the contractor for the project, is replacing the bridge under the AOT’s Accelerated Bridge Project, which offers financial incentives for getting the job done quickly and minimizing closures and detours.
Built in 1925, the 53-foot single-span concrete bridge is “in deteriorated condition and does not meet current design standards,” and a 2013 engineering study recommended full replacement, the AOT’s website says.
The new bridge will be nine feet wider and about 30 feet longer, according to information from the AOT. Route 5 will be re-aligned on the south side and its opening to Broad Brook widened to improve hydraulics.
Crews have already started preliminary construction on the site and affected areas.
During the week of June 5, the contractor prepared the I-91 emergency access ramp at milepost 5.75, south of Exit 1 in Brattleboro. Workers also placed stone fill along Broad Brook and built a construction access road near the bridge.
Renaud Bros. will soon complete the final grading and install a fence and gate at the emergency access ramp. This ramp will allow emergency vehicles stationed north of the bridge to attend incidents south of the bridge without having to make the 25-mile detour through Bernardston for the 28 days the bridge is closed.
Other scheduled work includes forming and placing reinforcing steel for the precast bridge units, installing detour signage for the bridge closure at various locations on Route 5, side roads, and I-91, and completing miscellaneous work around the existing bridge.
The post office is preparing, too.
Because some Melendy Hill and Broad Brook residents won’t have access to their mailboxes on Grist Mill Road during construction, project staff and the Brattleboro postmaster have been making arrangements for temporary post office boxes for the affected parties.
In her memo, Barrett urged caution and concern for construction workers.
“Motorists should watch for flaggers who will assist trucks driving in and out of the bridge construction site,” she said. “It is illegal in Vermont to use any handheld portable electronic devices while driving. The law carries fines of up to $200 with points assessed if the violation occurs in a work zone."