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August 28. 2013 9:06PM

Work on Cornish-Windsor Bridge begins Sept. 9


The state Department of Transportation will start eight-week repair project of the Cornish-Windsor Bridge next month. (Courtesy of the Cornish Historical Society)

CORNISH — Eight weeks of repair work on the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge will start Sept. 9.

The bridge will remain open, but motorists should plan accordingly and allow for more travel time, said New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton.

"There might be some delay you might get with any alternating lane traffic," he said.

The bridge carries the Cornish Toll Bridge Road over the Connecticut River from New Hampshire to Vermont.

Beginning the week of Sept. 9 repair work will necessitate single lane traffic from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., controlled by temporary signals for up to eight weeks, according to DOT.

Boynton said the September project is "basically masonry work along the bridge piers," the concrete and stone structure that holds the bridge up.
DOT makes it a practice to coordinate projects with the community, Boynton said, but Selectman John Hammond said the town was never officially notified of the project.

"We really have not received any notice from the state working on that bridge," Hammond said.

Hammond said he doesn't take issue over not being notified, but was curious as to what exactly the project entailed.
The bridge is one of four covered bridges in Cornish and has the longest two-span bridge in the world, is a source of pride for town's people, he said.

"It's kind of the logo that the town has on their website, but it's actually owned by the state so as long as the state wants to pay for it that's alright by the town," Hammond said.

Town officials have talked to DOT officials in the past about making the area outside of the bridge safer for pedestrians, but nothing has ever come of that, he said. Again it is a state road, he said.

"That's a pretty narrow thoroughfare. What happens is the pedestrians want to take a picture of the inside of the bridge but what happens is when you drive into the bridge it's like driving into a dark hole," Hammond said.

Town officials have suggested the creation of some sort of path so pedestrians could go and look at the bridge without actually being in the road, he said.

The 449-foot long wooden covered bridge was built in 1866 and rebuilt in 1989.

mpierce@newstote.com


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