BRATTLEBORO -- Starting on or about Wednesday, Nov. 6, contractors will begin the long process of dismantling the northbound span of the Interstate 91 bridge that crosses the West River.
"You will see equipment on the existing northbound span removing the structure from the top, starting with the road surface," said Caleb Linn, project manager for PCL Civil Constructors.
Once the surface is removed, said Linn, the steel structure itself will be dismantled piece by piece with the use of cranes and hauled away on trucks.
To protect people on the river below, buoys and rope will be placed in the West River to keep boaters away from overhead activities.
Linn said it will be quite a site, but he cautioned people not to stop on the highway to get a good look at the work. He reminded people that PCL will host trail walks on Saturdays, in which the community is invited to the Marina Trailhead and given a guided tour of the work being done on the bridge.
Starting early on the week of Nov. 3, northbound I-91 traffic will be relocated onto the southbound bridge to allow positioning of equipment on the bridge. Traffic will remain reduced to one lane in each direction on I-91 until completion of the new bridge in the Fall of 2015. Night work on the existing I-91 bridge will begin on Monday night, Nov. 4, and will continue the following week through Friday morning.
The speed limit on Route 30 near the work zone has been reduced to 40 mph. This reduction will remain in effect through August 2016. Truck activity on Route 30 will continue and traffic will be reduced to a single lane intermittently; when this occurs, flaggers will regulate traffic flow.
Upper Dummerston Road may be reduced to a single lane intermittently. Flaggers will regulate traffic flow.
Overhead utility relocation on the West River Trail started on Wednesday, Oct. 30, and will be followed by excavation of the foundation near the trail. The trail from the Marina Trailhead to the I-91 bridges will be closed the remainder of the week and the following week, however, it will be open over the weekend. Signage at the Marina Trailhead and Rice Farm Road Trailhead will indicate current trail status.
The Trail is open from the northern trailhead to a point just north of the bridge construction area. The northern trailhead access location is on Rice Farm Road, about a mile south of the Iron Bridge.
For more information, visit www.i91brattleborobridge.com.
Bob Audette can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 802-254-2311, ext. 160. Follow Bob on Twitter @audette.reformer.