Gunstock Bridge construction commences
June 30, 2010
Gunstock Area Commission representative Greg Goddard informed the Board of Selectmen last week that Gunstock Bridge construction, originally set to start in 2014, is already a work in progress and will continue on into November.
Thanks to federal and municipal aid, the project can start sooner than expected. The majority of funds going into the project should be returned back to Gunstock, he said.
Area Road Bridge on Poor Brook Farm, the main entrance road by Gunstock Mountain Resort, was built in 1936 and was red listed years back. The proposed bridge design is 36 feet compared to the current 21 foot wide bridge. The new design will consist of two vehicle lanes and two bike paths and will surpass the current bridge by nine feet in height. There will also be a flat 4.5 percent slope.
"We decided this is the best way to design the bridge. It will be a pretty substantial structure," said Goddard. "We had a preconstruction meeting and alerted all the departments and officials of the scope of the project. We have all permits in place – this is a highly regulated process."
Goddard said construction work has already commenced within the past two weeks, and that the project consists of two main phases which will be worked on during the course of June into July. These phases include improvements to Area Road, improvements to the intersection, and landscaping. The bridge and the main entrance will close during the second phase, which will temporarily change the traffic pattern.
A detour route along with the alternative entrance will be used for road traffic instead. Goddard said this traffic configuration will be in practice up until construction lingers off this November.
"Our goal is to set asphalt down before November," said Goddard.
Selectmen Gus Benavides asked how much traffic will be impacted this summer, and Goddard answered that the impact should be minimal, and that Route 11A should not be heavily disrupted. He added that most of the bridge is manufactured off site and brought in by section with cranes, and as a result, site congestion should also be kept at bay.