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The following letter is by Amy Balogh. A copy of which, along with a petition to sign in support of the town considering a covered bridge to replace the existing one on Depot Street, is available at Crows Bakery on Depot Street in Proctorsville. This will be available for signatures until closing on Sunday, June 1.
It has come to my attention that the existing bridge on Depot Street, which has been patched several times over the years, is in need of replacement. Being a Depot Street resident and property owner, I have several concerns I'd like to address. Also I propose that the town raises funds to build a covered bridge at this location. Not only would a covered bridge directly address many of the concerns listed below, it would provide several additional benefits too.
My concerns are as follows:
The speed of traffic: Although the speed is posted at 35 mph on Depot Street (arguably a topic that needs reconsideration as well), cars do not travel that slowly. Vehicles come speeding off Route 103 at highway speeds and barely slow down to 35 mph for the sharp curve at the bridge.
The volume of traffic: The Depot Street neighborhood is home to many families and individuals who walk, run, ride their bikes and skateboard into the village and to Greven Field. Constant traffic is a concern, especially "through traffic" that has little regard for or awareness of the residential nature of this neighborhood.
The noise of traffic: The excessive speed of some of the more "souped up" cars is plain old noisy, as was the sound of large trucks equally problematic prior to the posting of the 5 ton limit. By limiting the weight of trucks on the bridge, trucks are only required to add slightly more than a half mile to their commute while remaining on the major routes of 103 and 131.
Adding a covered bridge to this location would likely address each of these issues. It would also add to the 'historic village' character of Proctorsville/Cavendish. [See photograph above that shows the way Depot Street once looked including the covered bridge.] The Covered Bridge listing in Vermont Vacation Guide is coveted and brings people from all over the world to experience the various covered bridges throughout the state. Such a covered bridge on Depot Street would add immediate value to local businesses that rely on tourism such as Singletons, Golden Stage Inn, and Six Loose Ladies. It would also boost the economic value and appeal to future new businesses contemplating our village as their location. And of course, as already implied above, it would enhance the safety and comfort of those residing on Depot Street and Greven Rd (road? Extension? Street?), which would also add value to the residential market of the area.
Please consider these concerns and my proposal for a covered bridge when making plans to repair or replace the existing Depot Street bridge. I believe you find the majority of village residents to agree with these sentiments.
The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will be replacing Bridge 1 (Whitesville Bridge) along VT 131 in Cavendish. The existing two-span structure will be replaced with a single span, steel girder bridge. The bridge is being constructed with Accelerated Bridge Construction methods, which will expedite construction and reduce disturbance to the public. During construction the bridge will be closed to through traffic from June 23 to July 25, 2014. Construction will be complete on August 22, 2014.