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Moretown/Middlesex bridge to be torn down, replaced by Labor Day

MONTPELIER The Vermont Agency of Transportation announced today that it has closed a truss bridge spanning the Winooski River on Route 2 because of safety concerns. The bridge connects Middlesex and Moretown. VTrans made the decision following an inspection that revealed deterioration along a key structural component. As of Monday afternoon, the bridge was closed to all traffic. Engineers worked over the weekend and met with VTrans Secretary Neal Lunderville this afternoon to establish a plan of action. According to John Zicconi, communications director at VTrans, the bridge will be torn down relatively soon, to be replaced by a one-lane, temporary bridge. We hope to be able to complete all the work by Labor Day, said Zicconi. The temporary bridge will have no height or weight restrictions, but will be limited to one lane of traffic. A traffic light will be installed on both sides of the bridge to allow for safe traffic flow. Lunderville noted that the bridge had been under constant inspection, and that the decision to was made in the publics interest. We always make decisions based on public safety, and this bridge needs to be closed, he said. We are exploring ways to repair the bridge, but it is too soon to know exactly what we can do. The bridge built in 1928 was last repaired in 2005, but has never been subject to major rehabilitation, Zicconi said. Motorists travelling along Route 2 can use a number of possible detours while workers build the one-lane replacement. Possible routes include I-89, between exits 9 and 10, or Routes 100 and 100B. Zicconi noted that officials will begin work as soon as possible. We are scheduling a site meeting for later this week so potential contractors can assess the bridge, and then give interested contractors time to put bids together so we can have a competitive bidding process, he said. Our goal is to have a contractor in place by mid-June with deconstruction of the bridge starting by the end of the month. Last summer, the Tenney Truss Bridge on Route 15A faced a similar situation it was torn down and replaced by a one-lane bridge. Zicconi said that this process will be similar, except that the Route 2 bridge is twice as long, at 250 feet.

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