MILTON - In August 2016 former New Hampshire DOT engineer Nancy Mayville said the bridge was scheduled for replacement as soon as July 2019.
Just last July Richard Arcand, a New Hampshire DOT program specialist, said the $2 million project was going to go out to bid this June and work would begin this fall or next spring.
In fact, there was little good news from Monday night's meeting in Milton where selectboards from Milton and Lebanon got a briefing on the status of the replacement project for the bridge that connects the two towns at the head of the channel of Northeast Pond.
Engineers came with seven different proposals, including several flat-bridge iterations, which Milton Selectboard Vice Chair Claudine Burnham said were of no use since they want watercraft to be able to pass under the span.
She said the two alternatives that were more amenable were a pony truss single span and a four-span girder bridge, which would have a sidewalk.
Burnham said the pony truss features a framework above the bridge that she fears would attract kids to try to climb up to jump into the lake.
"We don't want anyone getting injured or killed," she said.
That leaves the four-span girder as the most amenable, she said, adding it would allow boats to travel under the bridge and would most resemble the previous span, which was removed in the fall of 2012 after it was found to be deteriorating and unsafe for even pedestrian travel. .
The DOTs of both states made no mention of what the cost might be, but said they will return in two or three months with the financials.
To make the new bridge work they will have to raise both sides of the road: about nine inches on Townhouse Road in Milton and about three feet four inches on New Bridge Road in Lebanon. They also might have to move the boat launch at New Bridge Marina, Burnham noted.
In 2014 a price tag was listed by NH DOT at $1.4 million, by last July it had jumped to $2 million and Burnham said state officials at last night's meeting said it would go up even higher when it finally goes out to bid in 2025.
Burnham said when they come back with the financials they should also have some renderings of what the bridge will look like.
The funding formula for the bridge is 80 percent to be paid by the two states and 20 percent paid equally between the two towns.