All Sections
Welcome guest, you have 2 views left. | Register | Sign In

Salem selectmen criticize delay in bridge work completion

SALEM — The reconstruction of the Bluff Street Bridge is in its final stages but has still taken a little longer than originally scheduled.

Town Manager Keith Hickey said the bridge will be open as the work is finished up, with the possible exception of one or two days.

Everett McBride, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said the work was supposed to be completed by the contractor, the Thibeault Corporation, at the beginning of September.

“Is there a penalty? They were supposed to be done by the start of school,” said McBride. “Obviously, they are two weeks late.”

Robert Puff, the town’s engineering director, said there is a liquidated damages clause in the contract with the contractor but that it would be hard to pursue.

“The contractor can counter with claims about the amount of water that we’ve had,” said Puff. “So rather than pursue that, I’ve pushed them to get the bridge open to traffic as soon as it was reasonably possible.”

The contractor also agreed to pay for any police details as the work continues, Puff said.

“That’s essentially an equivalent penalty,” said Puff. “To be clear, there are a lot of misconceptions about liquidated damages. It’s not as easy as, ‘You’re late, give us the money.’ It’s not that clean.”

Puff added that the contractor only went over schedule by six or seven days and that it could be argued that the weather played a part in the delays.

The Bluff Street Bridge replacement consisted of the full replacement of the metal pipe arch structure and a full box reconstruction of the adjacent roadway. The project also included roadway re-alignment, new pavement, drainage improvements and guardrail replacement.

The project began at the Zion Hill Road intersection and extended west about 1,000 feet on Bluff Street.


Follow us on Facebook Follow our RSS feed

Contact Information

The Salem Observer
100 William Loeb Drive
Manchester, NH 03109

Ph: 603-206-7800
Fax: 603-206-7801

Neighborhood News publications can be found at a newsstand near you here.

News, Obituaries, Sports & Social Announcements

Christine Heiser, Executive Editor
Ph: 603-206-7811

Email ads to
Classified advertising: 603-669-1010
Display advertising: 603-668-4321

Print rate card | Digital rate card

Calendar Listings
Please use our online form at