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Bridge project questions answered
DIXFIELD- As many of you travel between Dixfield and Mexico you notice that you will soon be diverted on to a much smaller, temporary bridge that runs through the parking lots of Blouin's Automotive and extremely close to Blue Moose General Store and garage.
According to Project Manager Phil Pinkham, “These businesses will see minimal impact on their businesses from the diversion of traffic. We've set barriers up between the garage and the road and we've been working quite close with the owners since the project began and they are completely aware of our plans.”
With Route 2 being such a highly trafficked area, wide loads were prohibited from the bridge beginning Monday with signs going up in Wilton and Jay and surrounding towns in order to give truckers adequate notice of a detour.
“The detour shouldn't be a surprise to anyone,” noted Pinkham. “With the big wind turbines coming through, they would need a special permit anyway due to their size. That allows the D.O.T. to issue them an alternate route before they start out. As for the general permits for the 12-foot-wide loads or bigger, the signs will be up for them to choose a different way to go.”
Some of you who walk or bike the bridge to get to work, school or just out for some exercise may be concerned for how you may get across when construction commences on the bridge. Pinkham advised that there is a five-foot-wide sidewalk on the up-stream side of the temporary bridge for this specific use.
The new bridge will correct a slight s-turn in the existing road and will go through a portion of the old opera house parking lot.
As for the force sewer main, Pinkham noted that there are several plans in place to minimize customer disturbance. “We will have the downstream side of the bridge built first and when we're ready to dismantle the sewer main, it should only be a couple of hours at night before the old is dismantled and the new one is in place and running.”
Now, there have been rumors that an aquifer located on Leavitt Street will be impacted by the drilling and blasting of ledge. Pinkham assured this reporter that there is a D.O.T. standard to monitor wells located within the vicinity of the construction site to be sure water is not draining from them and that all precautions are taken as to not inconvenience residents who may experience well drainage.
With the new bridge not scheduled to be completed until June of 2012, once the downstream side of the bridge is built, traffic will be re-routed from the temporary bridge to that side. The new 40-foot roadway will have additional space for a sidewalk on the downstream side to allow for foot traffic to continue as before.
Both Pinkham and Town Manager Gene Skibitsky stated that there have been minimal complaints as to the delays that have been made by construction.