Pulp Mill Bridge Site Possible Key to Traffic Dilemma|
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
[For the complete story, go to
Our thanks to Ed and Irene Barna for bringing this article to our attention - Ed.]