Merrimack to replace bridge over Baboosic River

Union Leader Correspondent |
August 21. 2014 10:52PM

MERRIMACK — Local and state officials are working to finalize construction plans for a new bridge on McGaw Bridge Road, which has been included on the state’s red list of bridges for several years.

“The bridge is not salvageable due to its age and condition. It is an old bridge,” said Kyle Fox, deputy director of the town’s Public Works Department.

The historic bridge over Baboosic Brook has been authorized for reconstruction in fiscal year 2015. Fox hopes work will begin either this fall or early next spring. A hole within the deck of the bridge was discovered more than a month ago, according to Fox, who said barriers were placed along the edge of the structure.

The Preservation Company of Kensington was hired to explore the historical nature of the McGaw Bridge Road bridge, which was originally constructed in 1915. The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources has determined the bridge is eligible to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

This eligibility could affect how the existing bridge is replaced, said Fox, adding input is being sought from neighbors and property owners. A meeting was held Thursday to gather ideas.

Once the aging bridge is razed, Fox said a new, wider-span high beam bridge with a concrete deck will be constructed. He anticipates work to take about eight to 112 months, with a detour route along the Daniel Webster Highway.

The estimated cost for the project is about $1.6 million, according to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation’s latest status report on red-listed bridges.

The state is expected to pay 80 percent of the project, or about $1.3 million. The town is planning to fund the remaining 20 percent, about $329,408, according to the status report.

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