FAIR HAVEN - The news wasn't good for regional bridges in 2009. Neglect of the Lake Champlain Bridge, which was demolished late last year, as well as expensive repairs to the heavily traveled, and also neglected, Richmond Bridge in Richmond, Vt., have focused attention on the technical and political reasons why so many bridges are in trouble concurrently in both Vermont and New York.
Ok, now add another troubled bridge to the list needing repairs: Fair Haven's Depot Street Bridge which now has a yawning, two-foot-wide hole through its top deck.
While the hole appeared only in the past week, local officials had been aware of the bridge's deterioration. According to local reports, state officials had appeared oblivious to the problem when asked.
Jack Eaton, town public works supervisor, alerted the Fair Haven Selectboard last week about the hole and a temporary "patch".
Eaton said a road crew covered the hole last week with a sturdy metal plate. But the town doesn't have many options when it comes to permanent repairs to the span.
Eaton said Fair Haven Town Manager Serena Williams has already asked the Rutland Regional Planning Commission to seek state funding to repair the bridge.