Benmont Avenue bridge will close for five days, could reopen next week


BENNINGTON >> The Benmont Avenue bridge will be closed to all traffic for at least five days starting on Monday -- but the contractor says both lanes could be reopen by next week.

The bridge that connects Benmont Avenue and Northside Drive will close to northbound traffic on Monday, Sept. 12 and, weather permitting, will reopen on Saturday, Sept. 17, according to an announcement from the contractor.

All remaining construction on the bridge and roadway is expected to be completed next week. Once the work is complete, the bridge will reopen to two-way traffic.

It will be the first time both lanes of the bridge will be open since last March, when the southbound lane was closed for construction.

Crews will complete work on the concrete bridge deck, which is expected to take five days, according to a project update released this week by Natalie Boyle, project outreach coordinator for Greenman-Pedersen Inc., whose firm was contracted by Alpine Construction of Schuylerville, N.Y.

"The work to be performed during this closure is weather dependent," the update stated. "If any time is lost due to rain, please be aware that this closure may last longer than anticipated."

Benmont Avenue businesses will remain open during the bridge closure. A detour for southbound traffic remains in place.

The 250-foot concrete bridge connects Benmont Avenue and Northside Drive and carries traffic across the Roaring Branch Walloomsac Brook. It was constructed in 1938 and is often referred to as the Hunt Street bridge. According to the Agency of Transportation, it was in poor condition. Officials have said that while the bridge is safe, it was rapidly deteriorating and needed to be reconstructed.

Only one lane of the bridge has been open at a time and only northbound traffic has been allowed. Traffic from Northside Drive, which would normally continue south over the bridge, has been detoured during construction.

Construction workers in the coming days will complete installation of a water-proof membrane that will protect the concrete bridge deck from water and salt. Crews will then begin the final paving of the bridge and approaches at either end of the bridge. Workers will then install expansion joints at either end of the bridge and lay pavement markings before the bridge reopens.

Alpine Construction is contracted to work on the bridge through October.

The federal government, through the Federal Highway Trust Fund, is kicking in about 95 percent of the total $2.8 million statemanaged reconstruction project. The project includes a new water line that will replace one underneath the brook that was left exposed after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

Contact Ed Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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