Bellows Falls Trustees unanimously pass Vilas Bridge resolution

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – On Tuesday, Oct. 26, the Bellows Falls Village Trustees discussed the 2023-2032 New Hampshire Department of Transportation work plan for the Vilas Bridge in the Transportation Improvement Plan.

Municipal Manager Scott Pickup said that Development Director Gary Fox was working with Vermont House Delegates and Senate officials on the format for federal funding. The traditional funding model split the Vilas Bridge 93/7: New Hampshire owns 93% and Vermont owns 7% of the Vilas Bridge.

Pickup said because Bellows Falls was requesting a 50/50 match on the Vilas Bridge project, federal funds had been denied. He further explained that New Hampshire has not provided enough funds at the traditional 93%, but these resolutions would be on the record for TIP for both New Hampshire and Vermont.

NHDOT recently posted a new number for the cost of the Vilas Bridge project at $17,708,681. Pickup said that by authorizing a breakdown of the 93/7 in the resolution, they hoped this approach would get the project closer to being realized.

Village President Deborah Wright read the two-part resolution, “The village of Bellows Falls requests and authorizes Vermont Agency of Transportation, VTrans, to include in its State TIP preliminary engineering in 2023 of $63,879, right of way in 2026 of $4,337, construction in 2028 of $1,171,392, and authorizes and requests the Vermont federal delegation to designate 80% of the Vermont share project costs and federal highway funds to VTrans specifically for the Vilas Bridge project.

“The Village of Bellows Falls requests that NHDOT include in its state TIP preliminary engineering in 2023 of $848,676, right of way in 2026 $57,624, construction in 2028 $15,562,773, and authorizes and requests the Vermont federal delegation to designate 80% of New Hampshire’s share of project costs in federal highway funds to NHDOT specifically to the Vilas Bridge project.”

The Trustees passed the resolution unanimously.

The Bellows Falls Trustees meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m. in the Lower Theater of the Bellows Falls Opera House.

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