Bridge repairs shift traffic plans for Salisbury
SALISBURY â€” At a Board of Selectmenâ€™s meeting on July 1, First Selectman Curtis Rand said he had corresponded recently with state officials about two transportation projects affecting the town â€” and many drivers who pass through on their way to work or home.
The replacement of the Route 7 bridge over the Housatonic River near Housatonic Valley Regional High School has begun. Even before the project commenced last month, the state Department of Transportation had begun detouring trucks that weigh in excess of 15 tons. The detour brought those heavy vehicles through Lakeville and Salisbury via routes 112, 41 and 44.
Rand has asked the DOT to consider an additional detour to relieve Salisbury of bearing the burden of those trucks alone. The DOT has advised Rand that an additional detour has been found to be acceptable. North- and southbound trucks on Route 7 may also use routes 4, 43 and 63 on the east side of the Housatonic. That detour would go through Cornwall and a portion of Falls Village. Signs announcing the alternate detour will be posed.
Rand also said two repairs to the Amesville Bridge over the Housatonic River, connecting Salisbury with Falls Village, should begin soon. One involves the replacement of six decking panels of the 100-year-old one-lane structure. The other repair, the replacement of steel gussets, necessitated the closing of the bridge last month.
A company capable of replacing the gussets, Heartland, has looked at the bridge and has determined the work can be accomplished in about two weeks.
The proposed repair has been approved by the DOT. Rand was not sure when Heartland could begin work but was hopeful the project could be started and finished by the end of the summer. Meanwhile, the bridge remains closed to vehicular traffic but open to pedestrians, including those hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
â€œMeanwhile, itâ€™s a crisis and we have to get it done,â€ Rand said.
Rand would not venture a guess as to the price tag but add that the cost would be shared between Salisbury and Falls Village.