Bridges Need Fixing

There’s been a lot of attention on bridge safety since the bridge collapse in Minnesota last year, and two of our bridges find ourselves in the news for safety reasons today. Belmont Bridge will be replaced soon, Seth Rosen writes in the Progress. Chunks keep falling off of the bridge, which dates from the early 60s, leading to the structure being rated at 49 out of 100, which is a pretty lousy sufficiency rating. The city’s looking for bids, and figure it’ll cost them around $9.2M, with the work starting late this year. Nearly all of that money will come from state and federal funding. Some folks weren’t happy that it was installed in the first place — it’s a pretty significant barrier between Belmont and downtown — so here’s hoping that some pedestrian improvements are made with Belmont Bridge 2.0.

The other bridge news is that delays will continue in replacing the Advance Mills bridge, which was shut down last year because it’s just not safe. Locals have been stuck taking a pretty goofy detour down a dirt road to get across the river. The BoS planned on installing a temporary bridge, which VDOT supports, but the Federal Highway Administration says that’s a waste, and that the next step is a new permanent bridge. And that leaves Advance Mills residents without a bridge until 2010 or 2011.

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