’Redlisted’ Bridge Over Ammonoosuc River to Get Much-Needed Makeover

Tue January 20, 2009 - Northeast Edition
Jay Adams



The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) has begun work on the rehabilitation of the Route 302 span over the Ammonoosuc River in Lisbon.

According to several NHDOT spokespeople, this project involves the replacement of the bridge deck and associated guardrail work, and required temporary lane closures for approximately one month this fall.

Temporary traffic signals will be put in place at the project location after April 1. Beck & Bellucci Inc. of Franklin, N.H., is the contractor for the $1.5 million project, which has a final completion date of Oct. 30.

Route 302 is a spur of Route 2. It currently runs 171 mi. (275 km) from Portland, Maine, at Route 1 to Montpelier, Vt., at U.S. 2. It passes through the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

“Ongoing work only consists of placing subdecking for next season’s deck removal,” said David Merrill, a spokesman for NHDOT.

Merrill said that Beck & Bellucci will be performing the following work:

• Deck removal and placing of new epoxy coated re-steel followed by QC/QA concrete for the new deck;

• Replacement of bridge-bearing devices and rehabilitation of expansion joints;

• Repair of deteriorated concrete on abutments;

• Replace aluminum bridge and approach rail with bridge rail, T3;

• Replace existing bridge bearings with Elastomeric Bearing Assemblies;

• Paint existing A588 weathering steel interior girders within 10 ft. (3 m) of bearings; and

• Install new barrier membrane, welded by torch, on the new QC/QA concrete bridge deck.

The project bid of $1,554,885.25 by Beck & Bellucci represented the lowest bid among several companies, including R.M. Piper Inc. of Plymouth, N.H., which bid $1,745,053.55; Winterset Inc. of Lyndonville, Vt., which bid $1,855,402; Frank M. Whitcomb Construction Co. of Walpole, N.H., which bid $1,992,452.35; and E.T. Buck Construction of Auburn, Maine, which bid $2,003,648.

According to Merrill, work began on Oct. 14 and is expected to resume after April 1, 2009.

“The number of workers involved in any one shift will vary depending on work being performed at the time,” said Merrill. “There will be on average 10 to 15 workers with a maximum of 25 per day.”

The bridge, built in 1979, is on NHDOT’s Redlist as “poor.” According to NHDOT, it has a federal sufficiency rating of 58.6 percent (in 2007).

For a smaller bridge in a rural area, it still sustains an average of 5,200 cars per day, according to a 2005 NHDOT study.

“The repair of the deck, expansion shoes, and expansion joint will reduce annual maintenance and safety improvements will benefit the public,” said Merrill. “We only had annual maintenance of the bridge performed since its original construction way back in 1979.”

According to Wikipedia, the Ammonoosuc River is a 55-mi. long river in northwestern New Hampshire. It is a tributary of the Connecticut River, which flows to the Long Island Sound. “Ammonoosuc” is Abnaki for “small, narrow fishing place.”

The Ammonoosuc rises on the western slope of Mount Washington, in Sargent’s Purchase in the White Mountains of southern Coos County. One branch of the river is the outlet of the Lakes of the Clouds in the saddle between Mount Washington and Mount Monroe. Leaving the vicinity of the Presidential Range, the river flows west into Grafton County, where it turns southwest.

Along its course, the Ammonoosuc passes through Chandler’s Purchase, Bean’s Grant, and Crawford’s Purchase; and the towns of Carroll, Bethlehem, Littleton, Lisbon, Landaff, Bath and Haverhill to the village of Woodsville, where it flows into the Connecticut River.

(This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s Web site at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.) CEG