Burke Reviews Plans for Closed Bridge

Hayden Crossing BridgeBurke - The town of Burke is considering a number of different options for the closed Hayden Crossing Road Bridge. The Vermont Department of Transportation presented 5 different options to the select-board and members of the town Monday night to consider for the bridge, ranging from complete removal to an entirely new 2-lane bridge. The projects range in cost from $221,000 to $1.5 million.


The bridge has been closed since 2013 when the structural beams beneath the bridge failed. "The floor beams of the bridge failed in 2013. The beams crushed [and] the connectors sheared off, and so because if this failure the bridge was closed." Said Laura Stone, scoping engineer for VTrans.

The first option that was presented was a complete removal of the bridge. The complete removal would cost an estimated $221,056, $5,530 of which the town would be responsible for. Along with the bridge removal, two truck turnarounds would be built on either side of the river.

The second option would entail removal of the bridge to be replaced with a small pedestrian bridge. The estimated project cost for this proposal is $434,279, of which the town would pay $21,710. Once the pedestrian bridge is built it would be the responsibility of the town to maintain and repair as needed.

Keeping a bridge crossing for vehicles where the last three options. One of these vehicle use options would rebuild the beams and roadway structure for a one lane road, using the existing stone supports. The one-lane bridge would be similar to the one that exists now, allowing for a single vehicle and a pedestrian or bike to cross. The estimated cost is $573,593, with the town responsible for $14,340; Just over $7-thousand less than the pedestrian bridge option due to government incentives that lessen the towns share under this option. This option would have an estimated lifespan of 40 years.

VTrans also proposed two plans that would allow for a two-lane bridge with bike/pedestrian lanes. One using the current alignment, costing $1.1 million with a town share of $57-thousand. The second being a two-lane bridge that would be built on a new alignment to bring the curves onto the bridge within acceptable standards costing $1.5 million with a town share of $77-thousand. Both the the two-lane options would have an estimated lifespan of 75 years.

VTrans recommended the first option, complete removal of the bridge, citing the cost benefits to the to town. The consensus from the public in attendance was not in agreement with the recommendation. A majority of the people at the meeting supported replacing the upper structure and restoring the bridge the one lane that it was before being closed.

Additional concerns were raised with the complete removal of the bridge. Much of the traffic that would be crossing the paved Haydens Crossing Road is currently using the narrow gravel Bugbee Crossing Road which has two small bridges that are not built for the higher volume of traffic.

The select board did not make a decision on the project at the meeting. The final decision on which project will be undertaken will be voted upon by the select board unless they deem it important enough for a special town vote.

Regardless of the decision made, construction or deconstruction will not begin until 2021.