Jamaica structure part of 'Accelerated Bridge Program'


JAMAICA -- Through a program designed by the state, a newly constructed bridge along Route 100 that leads vehicles from Jamaica towards Wardsboro, is nearly complete.

"This bridge was destroyed as a result of Tropical Storm Irene," said Vermont Agency of Transportation Project Manager Kristin Higgins. "A temporary bridge was erected adjacent on the upstream of what was the existing bridge. Right after the temporary bridge was erected, the existing bridge was demolished and taken down."

The project began construction in April. It was advertised on Oct. 31, 2012. Contractors submitted bids on plans that were already created by the AOT. It was awarded to T Buck Construction in January.

As of Oct. 17, it cost $300,000 for designs and permitting. It is estimated to cost $2.8 million to construct the bridge.

"We really employed our state-of-the art bridge construction technology to put out a resilient bridge that would better withstand a severe weather event," said Higgins, who is overseeing this project. "Ideally, we would have liked to eliminate the center pier but the bridge was a little long for that. The longer the bridge, Tthe deeper the girders are. We elected to stick with the pier, making it best to deflect water, ice and debris."

The work was part of the Accelerated Bridge Program, which was created within the Structures Section of the AOT. The last round of bridges that are part of the program are currently being advertised.

"This program was created after Irene," said Higgins. "We just hit the ground running. So far, I think it's a great program."

She told the Reformer that the program "accelerates the design process, permitting and right-of-way by doing different activities at the same time, concurrently."

One of the goals for the agency is to make sure that projects it receives go to construction within two years.

"So, we were able to fully design the project, obtain all permits and right-of-ways within 11 months," Higgins said of the bridge on Route 100.

The agency leased the temporary bridge on a weekly basis. One of the main objectives had been getting the temporary bridge back to the company that leased it out as quickly as possible.

According to a report sent by Higgins, state route bridges affected by Irene had included "34 severely damaged state bridges. Twelve were completely destroyed, required temporary bridges and needed full replacement."

This is the second project in Jamaica to be approved for the state's program. The other bridge, which is along Route 30, near the Jamaica Town Office, is open, but work is not completed yet. It also had required a temporary bridge and needed full replacement.

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


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