At writing time, there are still a few things left to do on Morrill Hill Road Bridge. All of the prefabricated bridge and wing sections are in place. Riprap stone of different sizes cover the embankments. Concrete decking will go down soon, followed by a waterproof membrane and then a finish coat. Lastly, guardrails will be installed and some time in June the bridge will be open to traffic. This $620,000 project was a State Bridge Aid Program project, with the State covering 80% of the costs. The total cost to the town was $124,000.
The original completion time was March 2018, but Mother Nature threw a lot of curve balls in the form of significant rain events. Thank you one and all for your patience on this project!
Just as the Morrill Hill Road Bridge project was getting underway, one of the concrete culverts on Elbow Pond Road collapsed as a result of the flooding at the end of October. This was a three-sided culvert with a natural sandy bottom. The watershed system upstream is an ever-changing “braided” configuration that sends water toward three stream crossing structures: the Mountain Brook bridge and the two concrete culverts that were installed in 2007. In October, the water volume that came through the easterly culvert was enough to scour the natural sandy bed in the culvert and cause the two side walls and then the top, to collapse. We were not able to get State disaster funding to fix the culvert, so we have applied for FEMA money, as there were several other bridges and roads that were damaged during that rain event. Jane Hubbard, our very own emergency management guru, is helping us work our way through the complex FEMA process. We have not yet heard whether we will qualify for funding. Regardless, it is the town’s intent to fix the culvert and reopen that section of Elbow Pond Road as soon as possible. Be aware, though, that due to wetland permitting requirements, the project may not get started until fall. Once again, we appreciate everyone’s patience.