LUDLOW, Vt. – Walker Bridge’s deteriorating deck made it through the winter storms and is the third bridge to be replaced this summer.
The new bridge will be about eight feet wider than the current one allowing for wider shoulders however the sidewalk will still be five feet wide on the new bridge. Some of the components for the new bridge have already started being built off site and will brought to Ludlow when needed.
There will be a pre-closure period of 14 days beginning Saturday, May 27. During this time traffic signs and message boards will be installed as well as a stone causeway in the river in order to remove the piers. One lane alternating traffic will be allowed during the pre-closure, estimate 10-minute wait periods.
Full closure will be for 35 days beginning June 10. The contractor will be pouring the deck, installing abutments and wing walls amongst other construction tasks. The workdays will include nights and weekends.
Post-closure will be another 14 days with one alternating lane for traffic to pass through. Expect travel delays of up to 10 minutes.
The regional truck route is VT 103, 11, 100 through Londonderry and Weston into Ludlow; adding 18 miles for truck traffic. The local detour route for vehicles under 24,000 pounds is North Depot Street to High Street. The traffic will be traveling both ways.
Traffic will not be able to turn down Elm Street by the bridge, so access to the Ludlow Health Center will need to be from Pleasant Street. Pedestrians will have one side of Elm Street to walk on during the construction period. Gleascott Avenue in front of the Ludlow Baptist Church will be blocked off to traffic and a few parking spaces will be created for the commercial building near Walker Bridge. The contractor will use the parking lot that is next to the commercial building.
If the noise is too much for worshippers of the Ludlow Baptist Church during this time the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium has been offered for them to hold their Sunday services.
The major amount of noise will take place during daylight work hours from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Night work will be taking place during the 35-day construction although the noise level will be less.
Route 103 is a major thoroughfare from I-91 and US 7 as well as being the major truck route; VTrans will be making sure there is ample detour signage for travelers.
Before Walker Bridge goes under the knife Bridge 99 spanning Branch Brook, located at the interception of VT 100 and VT 103, will have its deck replaced. The bridge was built in 1966. The superstructure and substructure are in ‘good’ condition therefore the replacement will take less time than Walker Bridge. The new bridge deck, costing $910,584, will extend the life of Bridge 99 for another 30 to 40 years.
Construction begins on Monday, May 1 and will be closed for 10 days. There will be pre and post closure period, with one lane traffic, two weeks before and after the construction.
The regional route will be using VT 100, US 4, US 7 and VT 103 will be signed. The local bypass by Buttermilk Falls and over the Rod & Gun Club road involves dirt roads, a narrow bridge, and a sharp turn that trucks will not be able to safely navigate.
If you are interested in having weekly construction updates sent to your email, sign up at www.southcentralvtbridges.vtransprojects.vermont.gov, follow updates on Twitter: @511VT or call the hotline at 802-496-3376.