Halifax wants its Deer Park Bridge I-beams back

Tuesday November 6, 2012

HALIFAX -- Steel I-beams are missing from the Deer Park Bridge construction site.

"Hopefully we can get them back. I don’t know," said Lewis Sumner, Selectboard chairman, on Friday morning after the Nov. 1 Selectboard meeting. "Hopefully they’re still at Cold River’s garage in Walpole (N.H.)."

On Thursday, Selectboard members voted unanimously to write letters to SVE construction company and Cold River Bridges requesting that they return the four I-beams to the town garage.

On Friday, Sumner signed a letter requesting the I-beams be brought back, addressed to Jim Hollar, owner of Cold River Bridges.

Though Hollar didn’t return a phone call on Monday to comment on the letter, on Friday the Reformer spoke with Chad Contaldi, project manager for Cold River Bridges, who said "I don’t know anything about it."

Before a pre-construction meeting with the Selectboard, Cold River was already working on Deer Park Bridge, which runs across the Green River. Construction wasn’t supposed to begin without authorization.

The I-beams were moved from the site without permission, according to Sumner. The town owns this material and does not have the authority to sell it due to a federal procurement rule, he said.

Since Halifax isn’t permitted to make money by selling the steel, Selectboard members said the town can use the I-beams for future construction.

SVE is in the process of making modifications to a plan of action for the bridge. The Selectboard would like a timeline for construction, not necessarily with dates, but with measurable guidelines,

Deer Park is the third of four bridges in Halifax that needed repairs following Tropical Storm Irene.

Selectboard members also discussed the possibility of writing another letter to SVE and Cold River concerning the safety precautions at the Deer Park Bridge construction site, located off Green River Road.

The board discussed putting flashers on barrels at night and tree removal issues. EMS Chief Christina Moore planned a safety visit and will give the board her recommendations.

Phone calls to SVE on Friday and Monday were not returned for comment.

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


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