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The recently repaired Sand Mill Road bridge is slated for replacement in 2022.

Cheshire's Sand Mill Road Bridge To Be Replaced By State

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The state intends to replace the Sand Mill Road Bridge.
Highway Superintendent Blair Crane told the Selectmen on Tuesday that the state Department of Transportation has slated it to be done in fiscal 2022. The cost is estimated at $2.5 million and the project is in the preliminary design phase. 
"What needed to be done has been done to get us through those six years and in six years it will be replaced," Crane told the selectmen Tuesday. "So they are going to take care of that and we will start that process." 
The town used its Chapter 90 road funds to partially repair the bridge this spring after its condition prompted the state to close it two years ago. Residents had complained about the lengthened commute caused by the closure. 
Crane said when the bridge is replaced, it would likely need to be completely closed for 10 to 15 weeks.
"Rather than closing it and going through the motions, the motions will be done so when it does close, it will be torn down and put back together," Crane said. "For bridge construction, that is pretty aggressive."
He added that he plans to survey every bridge in town with state inspectors in the next few weeks.
"As a group, we will do that so there will be no more surprises," Crane said. 
Crane also said the Department of Public Works has been busy cleaning up after the rain storms last week. He said the flooding wasn't bad because all the catch basins in town have been cleaned.
"We did every catch basin in town. It took four days," he said. "Some that you think would really be full were fine and others were filled to the gills with sediment but we did them all so we know we have a clean slate."
He added that downed trees have also been completely removed.
"There were a couple downed trees across Outlook Ave but I got there and cut them up," he said. "It is all set now." 
In other business, Pine Valley Mobile Home Park resident Roseanna St. Pierre told the Selectmen that the roads in the park have yet to be paved.
"They are like craters and there is no news when they are going to get it done," she said. "First we heard the spring, then July, now it's August and before you know it will be winter."
Last year, after a series of arduous meetings, the Selectmen acting as the rent control board approved a rent increase of $7.46 a month. That amount was 95 percent less than what the park managers proposed.
Part of this increase was slated for road repairs.
St. Pierre asked if tenants should withhold rent and place it in an escrow account until the roads are complete.
Selectman Robert Ciskowski did not think they should do that and said the rent control board will contact the park manager.
"I would be leery of that. Why don't you let us get a hold of them so you don't get in trouble," Ciskowski said. "There is still good paving time this summer and fall … We as the rent control board will find out what we can find out."

Tags: bridge project,   

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