Damage will keep floating bridge closed for the year, state official saysBy LOUIS PORTER Vermont Press Bureau | May 19,2008MONTPELIER — The floating bridge over Sunset Lake in Brookfield will not reopen for the summer. It is not clear yet how much rebuilding the bridge will cost or when it will be done, but it is very unlikely to reopen this year.
Normally, the 330-foot bridge that carries Route 65 over the lake is reopened each spring. However, bridge inspectors discovered recently that it has become too badly damaged to be safely driven over by vehicles. It will remain open to pedestrians.
"Our bridge inspectors look at it every year before we open it," said Secretary of Transportation Neale Lunderville. "We do not feel it is safe for any kind of passenger vehicles to pass over it."
The bridge, which is 70 years old, is not a span over the water rooted on the banks or on pilings as most bridges are.
Instead it relies on 380 floats to remain on top of the water. The bridge was last reconstructed in 1978 and wooden portions of it are in rough shape, according to the agency.
Drivers will continue to use a 2.7-mile detour through local streets as they do during the winter for the foreseeable future.
"Our engineers and inspectors looked at it this week and decided there is no easy fix," Lunderville said last week.
"We don't have good estimates at this point," Lunderville said, but "it is going to be an expensive repair."
The agency's new prioritization program considers how much use roads and bridges get when determining what order they are put in for major construction work.
The agency has also, where possible, eliminated amenities in those projects to try to stretch transportation money in an era of declining Transportation Fund revenues.
The floating bridge does not get a huge amount of traffic, but neither is it an amenity, according to officials.
"It serves an important transportation role," Lunderville said. "We wish we would be able to open it this year."
However, that is unlikely to happen, Lunderville said.
"Ultimately, we have to make the determination of safety and that is what our inspectors have done," he said.
Contact Louis Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org.MORE IN Vermont News
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.