Bridge Work Under Way

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By Patrick Cronin

Hampton Union, Friday, April 21, 2006

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON - Just a minor inconvenience.

Those are the words people are using to describe the closure of the Exeter Railroad Bridge in downtown Hampton.

The bridge, which will be closed to traffic until May 7, is undergoing repairs by the state. And as a result, traffic has been detoured via U.S. Route 1 and N.H. routes 101 and 27.

Selectmen said they have not heard from any residents complaining about the bridge's closure.

"I think people realize how important it is for the bridge work to be done now because that money may not be as easily attainable in the future," Selectman Rick Griffin said.

The only thing he's noticed since the closure is that Route 1 is a little bit busier than normal.

Selectmen Chairwoman Ginny Bridle-Russell said the bridge needs to be repaired and she hopes the state will stay on schedule and reopen the bridge in three weeks.

According to the state Department of Transportation, the bridge, which was on the state's "red list" of seriously deteriorated bridges, was structurally deficient, and the angle at which Exeter Road enters the downtown intersection has been deemed a safety hazard.

Repairs will include replacement of the existing timber bridge superstructure, reconstruction of the tops of the stone abutments, the installation of concrete approach slabs and deck beams, new bridge and approach rail, and paving at each approach to the bridge.

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