Depot St. bridge construction set to begin Cold River Bridges signed to rebuild Cavendish span

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Most Cavendish residents look forward to this sign going away later this year. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

The long awaited work on the Depot Street bridge in Cavendish is right around the corner according to Town Manager Brendan McNamara, and the town is looking down the road at minimizing some of the problems it sees with having the span open again.

McNamara told the town’s Select Board on Monday night that the contract to do the work was awarded to Cold River Bridges of Walpole, N.H., and that the company is shooting for a March 1 start date and a reopening in the late fall.

A VTrans project fact sheet gives an estimate of $1.9 million, with  the town’s share of the cost at 5 percent or approximately $95,000.

“I understand they’ve rented office space in town and a place for their engineer to stay,” said McNamara. “The project is a go.”

Seen from the north side, bridge 58 has been closed since Dec. 2015.

The 87-footlong bridge across the Black River connects a residential area with downtown Proctorsville and gives northbound drivers a quicker route to downtown than driving to the end of Rt. 131 and backtracking. Known as Bridge 58, the span has been closed since December 2015. The town closed the bridge after engineers found that the then 75-year-old bridge superstructure – the deck and beams – and substructure were in poor condition.

While welcomed by most residents, the reopening of the bridge is not without a complication or two. McNamara noted that traffic exiting Rt. 103 at highway speeds quickly encounter a residential neighborhood with a 35 mph limit and Depot Street will see increased heavy truck traffic.

“I’ve been investigating methods of speed control,” said McNamara, adding that digital speed signs like those used in Chester seem to work. “Chief Rick Cloud (of the Chester Police Department) told me they have been amazingly effective,” in slowing traffic down as it enters town.

The board discussed whether one or two signs would be needed and seemed to rule out speed bumps as a speed control solution.

McNamara said that because truck drivers – especially tractor trailers – will find the turn from Depot Street on to Route 131 far easier than the hairpin turn from Route 103 north onto Route 131, Depot Street will quickly become a truck route.

The board suggested a “no through trucks” sign while board member Mike Ripley suggested, “Let the sheriff make some money.” McNamara said he would be speaking with the sheriff.

In other business

723 Main St. will be sold by the town on March 20 with a minimum bid of $45,000.

McNamara told the board that the town is preparing to sell 723 Main St. in Proctorsville, which it bought in a tax sale last year. The sale will be held at the Cavendish Town Office, 37 High St., at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, with a preview  from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 13 The minimum bid will be $45,000 including the contents of the house and barns which are “packed” with furniture.

Board members noted that the property has had some drainage problems but McNamara said that the price was good for a piece of property on Main Street with municipal water and sewer.

McNamara said the new highway garage is now complete and the highway crew has moved in. The town had expected to do an opening, but as soon as the crew settled in, there was a large snowstorm, then the recent cold snap. McNamara also praised Randy Shimp, saying that his knowledge and expertise “saved the town tens of thousands of dollars.”


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  1. Philip Perlah says:

    Happy for the people and businesses in Cavendish. We should all note that the bridge on route 11 between Chester and Springfield (near Breezy Hill) has been under repair for about 18 months and zero activity for over a year.