July 09, 2014JEFFERSON — The selectmen are exploring all costs and also obtaining permits so that once everything is in place they can move forward to replace the one-lane Ingerson Road Bridge over Priscilla Brook using a precast bridge system, board chairman Norm Brown explained in an e-mail exchange. The board is aiming to get the work done in either September or October, usually low-water months.
An engineering report calls for the removal of both the deteriorating abutments and the riprap on the brook's embankments, Brown said. Then holes would be dug in the road on either side of the brook and a small quantity of concrete would be poured into them to create 12-inch-diameter slurry pads. Precast bases would then be set on top that would align with the new precast bridge arch that would ultimately be bolted to these bases. "There would be no abutments," Brown said, pointing out that he has been discussing the project with the Michie Corporation of Henniker, the only N.H.-based company that has the capability to make precast bridge pieces — bases and arches — for "rapid bridges."
The new bridge that the selectmen are seriously considering would have two lanes along with built-in guardrails and a membrane on top that would be covered with a foot of gravel.
"No agreements have been signed or has any decision been made to bid anything yet," Brown explained. "The current bridge has some value, and we're trying to see if anyone wants to buy that bridge or take the bridge in exchange for material and work in preparation of the new bridge," he said, adding that town employees would likely only be involved to add the 12 inches of gravel near the end of the project.
"The road should be blocked for no more than a week plus possibly a couple of days after the first week," Brown said.
The board hopes that the project can be completed with funds already in the town's bridge account that now totals approximately $90,000. Brown said, "Even though we were authorized at the March town meeting to borrow an additional $100,000, we'd much prefer not to have to do so."