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Not-for-Profit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006

Dummerston cancels Special Town Meeting on bridge repairs

AOT comes through with $36,000 to make up project shortfall

DUMMERSTON—The Selectboard voted last week to cancelled the Special Town Meeting that was planned for Aug. 23.

According to Town Clerk Pamela McFadden, the town was notified late last month by the state Agency of Transportation (AOT) that it will be receiving an additional $36,000 from the transportation enhancement grant for the West Dummerston Covered Bridge wing wall project.

Selectboard member Tom Bodett, who has been overseeing the project, wrote in an email that the Special Town Meeting was originally scheduled to ask voters for approval to redirect last year’s cash surplus toward the repairs.

After the AOT notified the town about the extra money for the program, which was needed “because of cost overruns related to the escalation in construction costs between our original grant estimate and our request for bids,” there was no longer a need to hold the meeting.

“Apparently there are projects all over the state in this condition as the flood reparation work that continues from last fall has put a premium on area contractors’ time and the materials involved,” wrote Bodett. “Supply and demand — it’s a force of nature.”

Meanwhile, the bridge is closed to traffic while Renaud Brothers of Vernon makes repairs to the wing walls that hold up the historic covered bridge.

“Things are moving ahead full speed,” wrote Bodett. “The excavation is completed and they are already building the approaches back up. Any surprises would have happened in the debris removal, so I’m feeling more confident that we are moving along ahead of schedule.”

Just the same, the town is still sticking to its original forecast of a mid-September completion date for the bridge project.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #164 (Wednesday, August 8, 2012).

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