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Pulp Mill Bridge Site Possible Key to Traffic Dilemma
WGN 45-01-04

Middlebury, Vt. July 7, 2005 - According to Middlebury's Addison Independent, "A committee charged with scouting locations for a new in-town bridge to cross the Otter Creek in Middlebury has whittled its list of seven potential sites down to a familiar two: Cross Street and the Pulp Mill Bridge spot on Seymour Street."
       The selectboard appointed bridge committee will solicit public feedback before presenting its findings to the Vermont Agency of Transportation in the Fall. The state and federal governments would have to cover most of the cost of building an in-town bridge, a multi-million dollar project.
       The Cross Street site seems to be the favored one, however, the news article states: "Time is also of the essence for the Pulp Mill Bridge, the historic, two-lane span that links Middlebury with Weybridge across the Otter Creek on Seymour Street. The 150-year-old bridge has provided an important safety valve for traffic that's currently skirting the Battell Bridge in downtown Middlebury. But the steadily deteriorating structure was never designed to withstand the weight of 21st century vehicles . . . . The bridge committee is suggesting that the town consider such options as replacing the Pulp Mill Bridge with a similar, but stronger, span; or placing a more modern span parallel to the historic bridge."
       A covered bridge expert has estimated it would cost more than $1 million to save the Pulp Mill Bridge. A final quote from the article: "'We understand the reverence in which (the Pulp Mill Bridge) is held, but that bridge is failing, end of story,' said Martin."
[For the complete story, go to http://www.addisonindependent.com/News/070705bridge.html Our thanks to Ed and Irene Barna for bringing this article to our attention - Ed.]

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted July 9, 2005