Jul 8, 2015 5:17 PM
BOW - A Bow bridge slated to be fixed, maybe even replaced, getting shut down just hours after being inspected.
This, even though it was supposed to be fixed 10 years from now.
Officials keeping a close eye on similar bridges throughout the state.
Hundreds of them, needing serious repair, posing dangers to drivers.
At the Bow bridge crossing at Birchdale Road over White Brook, Barry Guertin shifting his truck into reverse after just finding out he'll be tacking on at least 20 minutes a day on to his commute.
“I think it's going to be a big inconvenience,” he says. “That's for sure.”
Guertin takes the bridge to Concord and to I-89 and to points in between but now he says, “We're going to have to go the long way.”
All this, after an underwater inspection of the bridge finding the culvert severely deteriorated.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation telling the town to shut it down immediately.
“If there had been a heavy enough load or something shifted, if there was a rain that could have washed away,” says Bow Town Manager David Stack.
When asked if there could have been a much worse problem if the State hadn’t had shut it down, he said, “Yeah, yeah.”
The last inspection, he says, taking place just months ago.
“There really weren't signs on the surface of deterioration, sinkholes or anything,” Stack says.
So officials had planned on working on the bridge in the year 2025,
Yes, the year 2025.
But now that work just got pushed up a whole decade.
And it's far from the only bridge here in New Hampshire that needs a lot of work.
The number of bridges added and taken off the so-called **red list fluctuates from year to year.
The number of municipal bridges needing work last year went down from 351 to 344.
When it comes to state-owned bridges, the number went up from 147 to 153.
But for now in Bow, drivers like Barry Guertin getting ready to spend more time on the road.
He’s hoping this inconvenience will go away sooner rather than later.
“It's nice that it's been identified but there's been absolutely no heads-up and hopefully it doesn't take too long,” Guertin says.
And this isn’t just a problem for commercial traffic.
Police and firefighter response to different areas has been changed and there’s also the possibility of changing school bus routes.
All this, while Bow officials have two other red-list bridges they're keeping their eyes on.
No word right now on when the bridge will re-open.
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