$3 million in repairs slated for Vernon Avenue bridge.


Byline: James F. Russell

BARRE - The problem bridge on Vernon Avenue near the intersection of Route 122 will be rebuilt at a cost of just over $3 million with state highway funds, according to the town Department of Public Works superintendent.

Large holes have plagued the deck for years, and to keep the bridge open, large steel plates have replaced the asphalt surface.

"It is not in the greatest shape," DPW Superintendent Richard E. Wheeler said in a telephone interview. "The state is working with the town to get this done as quickly as possible."

Mr. Wheeler said the project has not gone out to bid yet, and the earliest that work could begin is next year.

At the Board of Selectmen meeting Monday, Mr. Wheeler said another "good-sized hole" was discovered at the bridge and more steel plating was used to cover it.

Police also reported an additional hole on the bridge's deck yesterday, Mr. Wheeler said in an interview.

Asked how many holes have developed on the bridge, Mr. Wheeler said, "We have been patching them right along for past six or seven years. Right now, visible underneath the plates, are two or three big ones. They are all covered by plates. There is no way of people falling through.

"Safety is not a factor at this time."

Mr. Wheeler did not...

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