Tuesday October 30, 2012

HALIFAX -- The Halifax village can say good-bye to the three-mile detour that was required in order to drive to the post office.

A bridge on Reed Hill Road that was destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene reopened to the public on Oct. 26.

"It’s a nice bridge," said Christina Moore, Halifax Recovery Administrator and EMS Chief. "It’s significantly straighter and wider. It has two lanes. Town equipment and plows can move over it easier now."

The construction of the bridge and a new guardrail system was the work of the Renaud Brothers, a company out of Vernon. It took about four months to build, but citizens have awaited its return since Irene.

The bridge was one of four bridges destroyed in the storm that had no temporary crossing in its place. Since Irene, this has been the second bridge rebuilt in Halifax.

Construction on the bridge on Deer Park Road began two weeks ago. The last of the bridges, which has been temporarily fixed, will start being rebuilt soon, said Moore.

Last fall, Halifax had suffered about $4.5 million in damages. The town has collected just under $2 million from the state of Vermont and FEMA for its recovery efforts. As the money came in, town officials were able to pay off a short-term loan.

"The real value is that our town taxes won’t go up as a result of Irene," said Moore.

Opening the bridge is a part of Halifax’s two-year recovery effort.

With Hurricane Sandy coming, townspeople and SelectBoard members hope that the storm will leave them alone.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com.