Jamaica bridge reopened after Irene
JAMAICA — There's good news for residents living on Goodaleville Road.
A bridge, which serves as an alternate route between Jamaica and Londonderry, was reopened on Friday.
"It's open to the residents and it's open to the public. But the official opening will be in the spring," said Selectboard Chairwoman Lexa Clark. "They still have paving to do."
The project began sometime in mid-summer. The board was waiting on approval for funding from FEMA. The agency agreed to contribute 90 percent towards replacing the bridge. Altogether, it was estimated to cost approximately $600,000. The state and town were expected to split the remaining 10 percent.
The only challenge cited by Clark involved installing the I-beams, which support the bridge. The New Hampshire-based Cold River Bridges had trucks backing all the way up from Route 30, she said.
"I think there were four of them. They had to do it very slowly," said Clark.
The bridge was the last on a list of FEMA-funded projects in Jamaica. Since Tropical Storm Irene hit in August 2011, several roads were rebuilt around town due to sections that were not passable.
Federal assistance was provided for projects on Turkey Mountain Road, Water Street, Pike Falls Road, West Jamaica Road and Old Route 8. Washouts had occurred due to flooding. Buyouts on Water Street ensured property will remain as greenspace to avoid future damage. Homes on that road were destroyed during Irene.
The Goodaleville Road bridge required a lot of research and paperwork, according to Clark, and FEMA was unsure whether it would pay for the project.
"We're glad it's done. That was our last project," Clark said. "The people who live on the Jamaica side of the road have never complained. They have been so good about being patient."