Bridge disaster

To the Editor:
On behalf of Gov. Douglas, the Vermont Agency of Transportation and the people of Vermont, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and the families involved in this past weeks tragedy in Minneapolis. A situation like this is a sobering reminder to us all that we must continue to make the preservation of our existing system of roads, culverts and bridges our first priority above all else.

Last year, VTrans launched an initiative called The Road to Affordability and shifted millions of dollars in resources from other transportation priorities to the maintenance and preservation of our existing transportation system. This initiative will allow VTrans to make repairs in the areas of greatest need more quickly and efficiently to ensure a greater level of safety to all those who travel on our roads.

As you may know, Vermont does have an aging transportation infrastructure but VTrans is committed to a schedule of careful and thorough monitoring. We inspect our highway bridges regularly and conduct regular maintenance and repairs, restrict use, or if necessary close them for the safety of the traveling public.

I will be reaching out to my counterpart in Minnesota in the coming days to extend my sympathies and to offer support from VTrans.

Neale Lunderville
Vermont Dept. of Transportation
Montpelier, Vt.

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