Bridge Reconstruction Warrant to Total Over $1.6 Million
Two red-listed bridges are in urgent need of repair.
The Budget Committee reccommended a $1,630,417 warrant article focused on repair work to red-listed bridges in Salem that are in dire need of fixing.
The commitee voted a unanimous 8-0 to reccomend what should appear as article 6 on the ballot this March.
The article is for a 10-year bond at 2 percent interest for two bridges, meaning that it will need 60 percent of voter approval rather than a simple majority.
The bridges are located on Bluff Street over Hittytity Brook and Providence Hill Road over Providence Hill Brook.
Approaching road work will also be included in the bond, with 1,200 feet of roadway included with the Bluff Street portion and 700 feet to 800 feet with the Providence Hill Road portion.
Robert Puff Jr., Salem Director of Engineering, said that for the Bluff Street bridge, which was built in 1965, the culvert rating is a 3. The scale ranges 0 to 10 with 10 being a brand new bridge.
"The bridges tend to drift onto the red list when they hit a category of 4," Puff said.
The Bluff Street bridge was placed on the New Hampshire Department of Transportation red list in 2009. The Providence Hill Road bridge, built in 1969, was placed on the list in 2004.
Puff said that both bridges are made out of corrugated metal plate arches, a material that has a service life of between 30 and 40 years.
"These structures have certainly exceeded that functional life," he said.
Puff said that the replacement work, if approved, will send a contractor out to close the roads sometime in May.
The project will not receive any reimbursement from the state. Salem has received funding or is still owed funding for past projects that were reimbursed by the state, including a job on Lawrence Road.
Puff said that seven bridges have physically been replaced since he has been in Salem.
The new bridges would use reinforced concrete, which has a function life of 75 years.
Puff indicated that a bridge on Shannon Road is in worse condition, but no design work has been completed for a replacement. Designs for that site will also be on the ballot this March.