To the Valley News:
Open: One new grand and glorious bridge! Upcoming winter storms, the first of which will bring about “salt,” the first of many and beginning of the systematic application of corrosive materials destined to destroy this fine bridge in 70-80 years.
Some years ago, back when “Mac” occupied the title of Town Supervisor in Westport (remembered because of a discussion of this issue), your paper published an article concerning a product derived from urea, an alternative to salt of all kinds. Then, the upfront cost exceeded various salt products by a considerable amount. However, the overall diminished cost to highway, bridge and vehicle destruction, although not measured, must be considered in a cost analysis equation.
Perhaps the time has arrived to take a serious look at this alternative, on a town and county level. If found viable, then local pressure on the state to do likewise within our county would be in order.
As for the new bridge? Vermont claims a predictable green friendly attitude, so my best guess would be full cooperation concerning the bridge surfaces.
Time for towns and the county to think innovative, check out alternatives and maybe put ourselves on another first in the state, if not the nation, map. As for research? Companies that sell this product will have research done, overall cost savings completed (even if somewhat skewed, more than a modicum of accuracy), so an expensive engineering study would not be a requirement for such an adventurous decision.
Susan C. Sherman