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TOWN OF NEWFANE

WILLIAMSVILLE COVERED BRIDGE (CB): CHRONOLOGY 1991-2006

11/15/91 Reformer article reports that CB is an obstacle to fire trucks.

09/02/97 Start up meeting at Williamsville Hall: Preservation of CB favored by community. Other alternatives discussed: modify design to allow heavier trucks through; replace existing structure with new one-lane CB with existing alignment.

10/01/97 Selectboard accepts $6,900 re-decking bid to install half-inch pine on CB.

12/15/97 Selectboard rejects VTrans “purpose and need statement” calling for a modern two-lane bridge.

06/01/98 Town Plan strongly urges that the Williamsville CB not be replaced by a modern bridge stating that it serves as a useful traffic control for the two villages.

02/05/98 Planning Commission supports CB per Town Plan against VTran’s recommending a new modern bridge.

02/23/98 Selectboard challenges VTrans “purpose and need” statements: Town can live with the present alignment.

02/17/00 Selectboard meeting discuses CB alternative articles in Town Meeting warning. Most of the public’s questions concerned the fear that a modern bridge would promote increased traffic and heavier vehicles passing through town.

02/17/00 VTrans informational meeting to discuss options: 1) do nothing; 2) new 1-lane CB; or 3) new 2-lane modern bridge.

03/07/00 Town Meeting article accepted to authorize the Selectboard to construct a new one-lane CB for $968,000 (Town’s share: $48,400). Vote was non-binding since the final decision would be up to the Selectboard.

03/28/00 Selectboard asks VTrans about what next steps are to be taken.

08/17/00 Selectboard chooses temporary bridge rather than detour through Parish/Baker Brook route for project.

09/06/00 Selectboard again chooses temporary bridge rather than detour through Parish/Baker Brook route for project.

02/21/01 VTrans to Selectboard: Preliminary Plans to correct inadequacies of existing CB with some improvements. Estimate: $1,007,500 including $95,000 right-of-way and engineering costs of which $52,000 had already been spent.
06/08/01 Special Selectboard meeting with VTrans project manager who discussed plan in which $50,000 would be allocated to dismantle and relocate CB, perhaps near Town Garage; it would cost $200,000 to reconstruct at new location.

06/28/01 Special Selectboard meeting with VTrans Historic Bridge Committee. Noted that 1982 repair work affected historic value of bridge by cutting of lattice work. Glu-lam beams may be needed to attain desired weight capacity of 40,000#. No conclusions were reached.

10/04/01 Selectboard: State’s initial plans withdrawn: restoration not replacement is favored; temporary bridge planned.

02/13/02 Selectboard: Repair of CB will cost less than replacement; town’s share is 5% rather than 10% for a new bridge.

02/21/02 VTrans CB Committee favors repair of historic bridge over replacement.

04/03/03 VTrans meets with Selectboard; Historic Preservation Division: CB to be rehabbed to handle 40,000# loads.

05/27/04 VTrans public meeting for discussion of CB repair or replacement options. VTrans: must meet state standards.

06/17/04 Selectboard: Loose fasteners on CB deck, causing some flat tires. Old deck removed and runners placed at cost of $18,000. CB remains at 20,000 lbs. weight limit.

11/10/05 State Historic CB Committee discusses 2 options: rebuild or rehab. Approved rehab.

11/15/05 Reformer announces Newfane to receive $1.6 million from Feds to repair CB.

12/19/05 Letter from Secretary of Transportation, Dawn Terrill, confirms Federal $1,6 million earmark.

03/16/06 Road Foreman reports on new problem of loose lag bolts on CB.

03/22/06 Construction co. submits proposal for repair of CB. Estimated cost $5,065

04/27/06 Special Meeting at the NewBrook Fire Department with Roger Whitcomb present from VTrans. Discussion of Covered Bridge and options.

05/10/06 Piet van Loon and Joe Mandell attended the Bridge Committee meeting in Montpelier to ask about the possibility of a concrete deck for the covered bridge structure.

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