Work on bridge to detour traffic
BENNINGTON – A bridge on Route 7A will close Wednesday so road crews can widen its surface and upgrade some of the bridge's structure, according to Vermont Agency of Transportation spokesman John Zicconi.
The bridge, built in 1930 and located just north of Route 67A, known locally as Northside Drive, and a short municipal road, Berard Street, will be closed for four weeks.
Traffic will be detoured about half a mile down Phyllis Lane, which connects with Route 67A a little northwest of its intersection with Route 7A, after Northside Drive becomes North Bennington Road, and also connects with Route 7A a little north of where the construction will take place.
During the construction, access to a local car dealership along Berard Street will be maintained.
Zicconi said the project, budgeted at about $95,000, will replace a deteriorated bridge rail and will allow the road to be widened from about 19-1/2 feet to 24 feet. The guardrails are built on curbing that takes up more room than is necessary and bridge abutments are also wider than needed so their replacement will allow the state to make the road surface wider.
Traffic in the area will benefit from a wider road, according to Zicconi.
The construction, expected to result in a "new, wider, bare concrete bridge deck with fascia mounted rail" was planned by the Agency of Transportation and not necessitated by an unexpected safety concern, Zicconi said.
The state sent out a notice about the construction on Monday so residents could be aware that it was coming and plan for it, according to Zicconi.
"In my experience, Vermont drivers don't really mind a detour and a delay if they're expecting it. It's when they don't expect it and it makes them late that they become upset," he said.
Zicconi said the project was expected to wrap up quickly because there was an easy detour in the area so the work can be done without the need for keeping even one lane open on Route 7A.
The construction will be done by Cold River Bridge Inc. of New Hampshire.
— Staff report