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Bridge Work to Continue All Year

Construction on the Valley Forge Road Bridge will continue until the road is expected to open to traffic in mid-December, according to project oversight engineer, Michael Rosenblatt.

The Guerrera Construction Co. of Oxford began the project to replace the bridge in early May, said Town Administrator Tom Landry. The concrete bridge, which was built in the 1930s, needed to be "totally removed and totally replaced," and the road is being widened and straightened to make it safer, he said. He noted that many of the rails that are currently along the street have been scraped and damaged by cars driving along Valley Forge Road.

Landry said the estimated cost of construction was almost $2 million, but he said the the figure could rise. Eighty percent of the money is provided by a federal grant for the construction and engineering of the bridge, he said.

A state inspection report from 2000 found the bridge to be in poor condition with deteriorating concrete and mortar joint cracking. The most recent inspection was in April 2008.

Rosenblatt said that at the start of the construction, the bridge was in "stable" condition and was "not an emergency by any means," but noted that because the bridge was built in 1938, the natural wear and tear over the years iprompted the replacement.

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