Open Letter to the Resident of Amherst from your Board of Selectmen
Horace Greeley Road Bridge (HGRB)
Closing May 1, 2018
Planned Reopening October 10, 2018
In March of 2011 the voters approved a selectmen’s warrant article asking permission to spend $2,100,260 to repair or rebuild three bridges. New Boston Road Bridge over Beaver Brook, Manchester Road Bridge over Beaver Brook and Horace Greely Road Bridge (HGRB) over Pulpit Brook.
The New Boston Road Bridge was successfully repaired by our DPW and the Manchester Road Bridge rebuild has been completed. We now turn our attention to the HGRB. All of the above mentioned projects were coordinated with the State of New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) and approved for an 80% reimbursement under the State Bridge Aid Program. The HGRB was scheduled for replacement, according to the program schedule, in the year 2021 but has been fast tracked to this spring.
One of the many lessons learned from the Manchester Road Bridge rebuild is to be proactive. Because we waited until after the state forced us to close the Manchester Road Bridge to begin construction, even though we had engineering plans in place it was closed for over 900 days. By starting construction on the HGRB the day it was closed, we expect the closure to be just over 150 days.
The HGRB engineer and design plans have been reviewed and re-reviewed by us, the DPW, our engineering firm and the NHDOT to ensure they meet contemporary bridge building standards. It may seem like a long time to construct a bridge over a brook but the foundation requires that pilings be driven 50 feet into the earth to ensure a solid base. This requires the pouring of a lot of concrete and it needs time to set.
The project timeline will be posted on the DPW website by the time you read this message.
The purpose of this communication is to attempt to answer some of the questions already asked and those that will surely be asked.
Our police and fire rescue departments have developed alternative route to those areas of Amherst north of the bridge and have coordinated with their counterparts in Bedford and New Boston for first response mutual aid.
Any change in our daily commuting route is sure to be a source of frustration, as can an increase in the traffic volume on your street. But please keep in mind that this is a temporary inconvenience while the bridge is razed and a new one is constructed in its place.
Given all of the technology today finding and charting travel routes around the detour should be quick and easy. If you are having difficulty in finding an alternative route to take please contact the town administrator for assistance. Remember, everyone who used the bridge is looking for a different route so there is likely to be additional congestion on all optional routes.
STOP LIGHTS AND TRAFFIC CALMING SIGNAGE
NH Route 101 is a state highway under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of the NHDOT. The NHDOT, at this time, has no plan to introduce any additional traffic signage nor lights. A NHDOT District Five representative monitored the location this morning Friday May 3rd and indicated that he observed, at most, four to five cars queued up to take a left onto Route 101. Spot monitoring will continue by both the state and the town.