We need the bridge back ... the sooner the better

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The loss of the bridge remains a gaping hole in Lebanon's and Milton's infrastructure. (Rochester Voice file photo)

To the editor:

As a concerned 33-year resident of Lebanon, Maine, (New Bridge Rd specifically) I am curious as to where the recent vote (2nd time) that passed this last July for the town to put up a higher share of the replacement cost for the bridge going to get us?

If history is to repeat itself will it be more bureaucratic limbo and stalemating? The powers that be keep blowing us off regardless of what we voted for meanwhile we vote again as the costs go up.

My question is, after all has been said and done, what is the official "take it to the bank" date, if any, for the bridge replacement?

What kind of hold ups are we to expect now? More hold ups and setbacks from Milton or NH DOT? Hold ups from Maine DOT?

It appears the only ones that have approved and want a replacement is Lebanon. How do the Milton voters feel about the bridge? I heard they favored it but I have not read so.

If we have commitments how committed and firm are the dates? I have heard (word of mouth and speculation) of a start date of spring/summer of 2021 but replacement dates are something I've heard in the past. Do they have a date "set in stone"

Has a replacement bridge already been designed? Or is that another hold off until any firm dates are set?

I ask these questions as recent answers are not readily or easily found on or off line and a lot of what I have found is older speculation, views and news.

So I'm asking What's up?

Also, as for my opinion about selectman Chuck Russell's safety issues on not wanting to replace New Bridge. He evidently must not have to deal with the narrow two-way traffic on Garage Way bridge. As you know it is the only access to Lebanon from that side of town now. I have passed many large commercial tractor trailer flatbeds, heavy equipment, tank trucks and snow plows on that bridge. At the same time this summer I have dealt with pedestrians and dogs , Kids running back and forth across the roadway - kids jumping into the water and people fishing from that bridge leaving towels and fishing gear in the narrow roadway. Not to mention vehicles backed up at the stop sign trying to pull out into RT 125 traffic that is often coming in unseen at 40-45 miles an hour because of blocked views by buildings and parked cars. That is the real safety issue.

I could not believe that he was against replacing New Bridge..

That bridge lightened the traffic load, opened and eased traffic by allowing additional access into Lebanon. It helped our local economy and gave extra emergency access to our neighborhood. .

The bridge made good use of Lebanon's only true draw and recreation area. The lakes.

The Bridge made sense. Unlike Mr. Russell.

Yes a few more RVs and boat trailers in the summer time but it is that seasonal traffic that benefits our economy during those short months. Not to mention it lessens the back and forth, up and down current one-way traffic on New Bridge Rd.

He should know with comments like his against the bridge he certainly won't gain any votes.

- Joel Dockham,

Lebanon, Maine

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