Red-listed Birchdale Bridge in Bow collapsesBy MELISSA PROULX
Union Leader Correspondent
October 19. 2017 12:51AM
BOW — The Birchdale Bridge has collapsed.
The red-listed bridge caved in on itself sometime Tuesday night, according to Town Manager David Stack. No one was on the bridge at the time.
The bridge was closed in 2015 after the state said it wouldn’t be able to handle large loads, though people could still walk across it.
“When the state made the recommendation, there was good reason for the recommendation,” Stack said.
The new bridge will be 26 feet long and 33 feet wide, and is being designed by Dubois & King, Inc., a Laconia-based engineering firm. Speed tables will be placed on either end in order to address concerns that both residents and town officials have about speed in that area.
The cost of the project is estimated at $833,000, which would cover all the engineering and construction costs. The town could see up to 80 percent of that amount reimbursed from the state in 2025.
Residents at the past town meeting also voted to approve $722,000 from the bridge and highway capital reserve fund to be used for the future construction.
Construction was supposed to start sometime soon, but it’s unknown at this point how this collapse will affect the timeline. With the last easement expected to be acquired this week, Stack said the contractors are already about two weeks behind.
Once it starts, construction should last about four months.