By Curt Peterson
London Bridge isn’t the only one falling down — State Route 12’s Bridge No. 3 over Lull’s Brook in Hartland Four Corners has been narrowed to one lane and controlled by a traffic light for several months due to failing components.
Route 12 serves as the main artery between Hartland and Windsor when traveling to Woodstock. In addition, the bridge is just south of the intersection with Brownsville Road, which connects much of Hartland with West Windsor and, via County Road, with Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center.
On Sept. 20, contractors for the state began major repairs on the bridge, requiring a total shut-down. Passenger cars and light trucks had to detour around the bridge using Bowers Road and Mace Hill Road. Heavier vehicles were asked to access Route 4 via Quechee-Hartland Rd., ending up about 4.5 miles east of the route 12 and 4 intersection. Detour signs were a little confusing — one sends vehicles targeting Route 4 or the hospital, for example, north on Route 5 towards North Hartland and White River Junction.
Two Windsor County Sheriff’s deputies, cruiser lights flashing, were stationed upstream and down to advise drivers of their options.
Hallelujahs were posted on the Hartland listserv by frustrated locals when both lanes of the bridge were opened for traffic on Sunday, Sept. 26. The new concrete deck, paved approaches and guardrail installations were completed on Friday.
“There will be a short period of cleanup, and then the project will be complete,” said Hartland Town Manager David Ormiston said. “They should be done and gone by Wednesday [Sept. 29].”