Decision pg 1 11-12-20

on help for
ailing bridge
By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
POMFRET — Town officials hope to be able make a decision on the fate of the ailing Taft Pond Road Bridge within a month.
First Selectwoman Maureen Nicholson said the town is discussing options with engineers and looking at any state or federal programs that might help fund the repair/replacement.
The bridge was built in 1900 and reconstructed in 1992. In July, after a routine state DOT bridge inspection found problems with the 25-foot bridge, the town changed the weight allowed on the bridge from 36 tons to 3 tons. Cars only.
Nicholson said the project is “more complicated” that originally thought. “The town was hoping to just repair the bridge and that might still be a possibility, but the problem is more complicated than first thought,” she said.
She said that the cost differential is “not that far apart” between repairing and replacing.
“We need to look at what is the best long-term option for the dollars.”
As far as funding help, she said there is the state local bridge program which is a 50-50 match. There is also a federal program with the federal government giving 80 percent of the project cost and the town being expected to put up the remaining 20 percent. But, Nicholson said, the federal program is much more involved and takes longer. In addition, the town just found about a third option which they are exploring now.
She said, “We want to be leveraging our $ as best we can.”
“We had hoped to work on it this year, but that’s not going to happen now,” she said.


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