By Katina Caraganis
ASHBY -- Turnpike Road, between County Road and Bernhandt Road, is closed until further notice so the Highway Department can make necessary repairs to a bridge that has been deemed unsafe by the state.
Town Administrator Bob Hanson said Tuesday afternoon that during a routine inspection by the state, the Turnpike Road bridge was deemed unsafe and after some negotiating, it was decided the best course of action was to take it down and put in a replacement.
"It's rusted out," Hanson said. "It failed its state inspection, and the state was working up to us doing a total replacement, so we figured that was the best course of action."
The new bridge, with aligned paving and other minor work, will cost the town about $70,000.
The road closure has already taken effect, and all detour signs are up, Hanson said. Drivers looking to travel down the closed portion of the road will be detoured.
"The detour is set up to divide the load, so to speak," he said. "No residential neighborhood is bearing the detour load both ways."
Hanson said that in an ideal world, the work would be done by the end of the summer, but it may not be likely.
"The goal, in the best of all possible worlds, is to get it done before school starts," he said. "Ideally, it's done by September, but chances are that won't be done."
Selectman Steve Ingerson said he has not heard any complaints about the temporary road closure. He emphasized that there was no way around the fix.
"It was a necessary evil because the old bridge had structurally decayed beyond the point of its usefulness," Ingerson said. "The state had come in and mandated it. I knew nothing of it until it was actually going on."
Follow Katina Caraganis on Twitter @kcaraganis.