Rain causes washouts in Brattleboro


BRATTLEBORO -- And just like that, mud season began.

"It's nothing new to New England," said Brattleboro Public Works Department Highway and Utilities Superintendent Hannah O'Connell. "We get that annually."

Over the weekend, the department began to patch up back roads around town. In its crew's rounds, Abbot Road, Covey Road, Pleasant Valley Road and Sunset Lake Road were all addressed.

The repairs are considered temporary. The department wanted to have the roads accessible during the weekend.

"(We will) tackle them during the week to have a little more of a permanent repair," said O'Connell. "We'll probably start hauling gravel this week from our suppliers. We'll probably be doing that for a few weeks."

The gravel will then be placed on the road using graders. It will be spread and worked into the roads to fix rough spots around town.

O'Connell told the Reformer that this mud season may be more harsh than usual because the winter was exceptionally cold.

"The frost has grown deep into the ground," she added. "This weekend, it started to warm up. We got some rain and had some washouts on some of our back roads so they all require some repairs this weekend."

Washouts occur when the water carves out parts of the road and causes erosion or creates a ditch. O'Connell said the water can cause the road to wear away.

Typically, the department will receive notification from the Brattleboro Police Department or the public when certain roads need to be repaired.

"We always appreciate people letting us know. We can't be everywhere at once," said O'Connell.

The department was advising people not to travel Bonnyvale Road or Meadowbrook Road in regular passenger cars. The roads were considered muddy and conditions would worsen with increased traffic.

On Sunday morning, Brattleboro Fire Chief Mike Bucossi told O'Connell that waters were a little high but it was nothing to be concerned about and it was not posing any danger. Minor flooding also was reported on Route 5 in Westminster this weekend.

According to Cindy Cook, Public Relations Officer for the Brattleboro 1-91 Bridge Replacement Project, the heavy rain has resulted in a slowdown on the project.

"We now anticipate that we won't be ready to do the work that necessitates the closing of Route 30 until April 9 or later," an e-mail from Cook stated.

New dates for the road closure will be announced when it is known for certain.

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


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