By Stephen Seitz
LUDLOW—The town of Ludlow has a busy year ahead for its bridges, dams and culverts, and the first one is already underway. First on the list are upgrades to the Red Bridge Dam, which began in late February. Lake Rescue is north of Red Bridge and Pauline Lake is to the south of Red Bridge.
The Red Bridge dam was last updated in 1995. The repairs are routine and there is no danger to the public. East Lake Road has been designated at the alternate route.
“It’s a maintenance project,” said Ludlow municipal manager Frank Heald. “First we need to get some cofferdams in place, then fresh concrete for the gatehouse, and the next phase is to put in a new culvert.”
A cofferdam allows work crews to do their jobs beneath the waterline. It is usually a watertight enclosure pumped dry.
“We expect the project to take another couple of weeks,” Heald said. “The concrete needs some time to set, and finally we’ll need some fill for the culverts.”
Heald said the project will cost about $70,000.
In April, the Pleasant Street Extension Bridge will be closed from April 3 to May 5 to replace decks damaged by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. Pleasant Street will serve as the alternate route.
The next project begins 10 days later. The state of Vermont will be replacing the deck on Branch Brook Bridge at the junctions of Routes 100 and 103. There will be alternating one-way traffic on the front and back end of construction. To avoid that, take Buttermilk Falls Road to Rod and Gun Club Road.
The state will also be replacing the Walker Bridge in the middle of town. The project is expected to take about 30 days, starting on June 9. Depot Street, High Street and Pleasant Street serve as the alternate routes for drivers; trucks will be detoured to Route 11, Route 100 & Route 155 to Route 103.
Finally, the town will be replacing the deteriorating Andover Street culvert at the intersection of Hemmingway Hill. Andover Street will be one-way during construction.