Cavendish Depot Bridge project to begin March 1

depot bridge
Cavendish Selectboard discuss traffic issues once Depot Bridge is reopened to traffic. Photo by Sharon Huntley.

CAVENDISH, Vt. – The Cavendish Town Manager Brendan McNamara, in Monday, Feb. 11 Selectboard meeting, officially announced the start of the Depot Bridge Project was slated to begin March 1, 2019 with dismantling of the current bridge.

Cold River Bridges LLC from Walpole, N.H. was awarded the project and have already rented office space in town in anticipation of the project start date. The March 1 date is dependent on state permitting going through on time, but there was no indication that there were any issues pending.

The anticipated completion of the project is by Oct. 15, 2019, which is a state deadline for working in a riverbed, but “hopefully sooner,” McNamara said. The Depot Street Bridge has been closed to traffic since Dec. 23, 2015.

Discussion then turned to how to address speed on Depot Street once the bridge reopens. McNamara said there is a concern from Depot Street residents that the road is a high-speed area. As drivers are coming from Route 103, “they hit a residential area pretty quickly.” Also the bridge itself is “a bit of a blind corner.”

McNamara told the Selectboard he has been investigating speed control options and has identified digital speed signs as a good option. These are the solar-powered digital speed signs that flash when driving over the speed limit.

McNamara had a conversation with Chester Police Chief Rick Cloud, who has this type of sign along Route 11 in Chester. Cloud said the sign was, “amazingly effective.” Chief Cloud will be sharing costs and details with McNamara in the near future.

Another option discussed was to restrict truck traffic on Depot Street by posting a “No Thru Trucks” sign.

“I think that the placement of the proper signage for ‘No Thru Trucks’ and the placement of one or more of the digital speed signs, that is something that’s going to really help,” said McNamara.

The Selectboard was in agreement that speed bumps were not an option because of the noise. “Don’t do speed bumps. They’ll drive everybody crazy,” said Bruce McEnaney, assistant to town manager.

The Selectboard will be considering how many signs to purchase and their placement once costs are received and review of the challenging areas of the road are assessed.

In the meantime, the town will look forward to the Depot Street project finally getting underway.

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