Rail-bridge replacements delayed

MIDDLEBURY - Middlebury's crumbling downtown railroad bridges, located across both Main Street and Merchants Row, may not get the immediate attention they need, according to town officials.

The bridges, built shortly after the end of World War I, are on the Vermont Agency of Transportation's bridge replacement list, however, tight federal and state funds will delay work on the spans until 2013-14 or later.

Both bridges exhibit crumbling decks; there's anecdotal evidence of small cracks and holes already forming in some areas.

Several VTrans reports since 2007 have listed the bridges as needing major repair, if not total replacement.

Maintenance on the bridges was apparently ignored for years, by the parties in charge, for reasons unknown.

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