With harsh winters and rainy springs roads and bridges in Vermont take a beating. So this summer the Vermont Agency of Transportation or VTrans plans to fix as many of those bridges as possible. And while some are smaller projects that include painting or minor maintenance, other bridges could be closed for weeks.
“By removing the traffic from the site it’s also safer for the people working and the people driving through the sites,” said Mike Hedges, Director of Structures for the Vermont Agency of Transportation.
The over-haul of Vermont's bridges is a part of record amount of transportation funding allotted to VTrans by the state including more than 140 million dollars for about 100 bridges.
Hedges says the department has carefully planned which bridges will be closed when.
“We may have three or four closed across the state but we've been very strategic in that we don’t want to close one that will detour traffic into another area where there would be a closure,” said Hedges.
And to help you plan for those closures VTrans launched a new interactive website that includes which bridges will be closed in your area and for how long. But Hedges says that's not all VTrans has plans to fix more than half of the bridges through an accelerated bridge program. Hedges says the program eliminates the construction of a temporary bridge which costs money.
“Some of those can cost two or three hundred thousand dollars and by not trying to permit that we can move the project along much quicker and cut maybe a couple years off the development,” said Hedges.
And because of that, Hedges says VTrans can fix four bridges for the price of three.
For more information on VTrans interactive website click here.