Detour & delay season is right around the corner Here's a short guide to avoiding the worst of it

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2022 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Every year as the weather warms, we begin to look around to see where the public works construction season will give us delays and detours. Here are some of the projects you may run into this summer.


The ‘shortest distance’ detour on the AOT website. From AOT website.

The major project in Andover will be a relatively moderate headache for people trying to get from eastern Andover and Chester to Weston since the Andover-Weston Road is slated to be closed for a little more than 10 weeks starting in August, according to the project factsheet on the Agency of Transportation website. The project is the replacement of the High Bridge over the Trout Brook, west of Horseshoe Acres Campground and just east of the switchback known as the oxbow.

The bridge was built in 1938 and is 84 feet long. A 2018 engineering study looked at alternatives to fix the bridge, but given “the age of the structure, site constraints and current conditions,” the study concluded, the best choice was a full replacement.


A dump truck is parked on the site of the old town garage. The pole barn that is to be removed is in the background. Telegraph file photo

There won’t be so much to get in drivers’ way in Cavendish this summer after years of work on Rt. 131 and the Depot Street Bridge, says Town Manager Brendan McNamara. The town will be doing “some paving” on Tarbell Hill Road using a state Class 2 paving grant.

McNamara also expects to update some or all of the town’s four sewer pump stations with the goal of having all the stations operating the same equipment.

In addition, the town is working with the Mt. Ascutney Regional Commission and Cavendish Streetscapes to look into the environmental status of the town garage that burned a few years back. McNamara hopes that once the old pole barn is removed, the town will be able to grade and seed the site to create a park.


The temporary bridge spanning a failing culvert on Popple Dungeon Road. Telegraph file photo.

After more than five years with a temporary bridge spanning a large, failing culvert on Popple Dungeon Road, construction of a permanent bridge will begin this summer.

Located a little more than three miles west of the Grafton Road, the bridge will take about four weeks to replace with work occurring around the clock, seven days a week.

During that time, the road beyond the bridge will be cut off to traffic including public safety vehicles. Town Manager Julie Hance told The Telegraph that arrangements would be made to have the Windham Fire Department respond to Popple Dungeon calls west of Zezza Road with the Chester Fire Department following by taking Rt. 11.  Fire Chief Matt Wilson said that the department has made a number of plans that are based on the type of call that comes in.

Work has already begun on replacing the deck and rails of Bridge 16 on Rt. 103 near Smokeshire Road. The 162- foot bridge will be closed and a smaller two-lane temporary bridge with lower speed limits will be constructed across the Williams River downstream from Bridge 16.

Two paving projects between Chester and Springfield that were begun in 2021 will continue into 2022. According to AOT, when bridge work is completed in Springfield, Route 11 will be paved from Chester to Springfield. There’s also an additional project replacing a culvert on Rt. 10 near 103 in Chester. Calls to project information personnel on this work were not returned by the publication time. We will update this story when we get more information.

A photo of Coach Road at Depot Street as it is today and a rendering of what is proposed to be built in 2023. Photos provided by Dufresne Group

A project to improve the sidewalk between Bargfrede Road and Town Hall was slated to begin this summer, but according to Hance, the state has not gotten all the necessary right-of-ways.  Ironically, the part that’s still outstanding is the crossing over the railroad tracks in the Depot, which belong to the state. The sidewalk project is expected to get underway next spring and last through the summer.

Hance also said she is reviewing a study that was done in 2016 on ways the town could put a sidewalk from the 103 near River Street to the Green Mountain High School. The feasibility study recommended narrowing Rt. 103 south to allow for a 5-foot wide sidewalk on the north side of the road with a crossing near the high school. According to Hance, a more detailed scoping study will be needed to move forward and that a state’s “bike/ped” grant could fund it.


Repairs being made to the bridge last September. Courtesy Google Street View

The state will be replacing the Vail Bridge over the Jewell Brook on Main Street in Ludlow from Aug. 22 to Oct. 1. Municipal Manager Scott Murphy says that will result in a major disruption. The closure will last for about 21 days out of a 39-day project. The website for the project shows truck detours along Rt. 100 to Routes 155 and 140 in East Wallingford while drivers of smaller vehicles will be able to use local streets to move around the bridge closure.

Paving of Rt. 100 from Ludlow to Bridgewater that was scheduled for last year and this summer is still on the AOT’s project list.

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