Royalton closes bridge spanning Broad Brook

Published: 05-22-2024 7:30 PM

ROYALTON — A bridge over Broad Brook in Royalton has been closed since last weekend after stones that help hold it up fell into the brook. It’s unclear when it might reopen.

Last Saturday morning, May 18, a resident alerted town officials to the damage to the stacked stone abutment that supports the steel and concrete bridge, Royalton Town Administrator Victoria Paquin said. Shortly afterward, the bridge — and the surrounding area on Broad Brook Road — was closed.

Motorists must use a detour on Harlow Road, which Paquin said is about a tenth of a mile. While Paquin did not have exact traffic numbers for the bridge, she described it as “fairly well used” because it serves as a connector between Sharon, Royalton and Barnard.

A Vermont Agency of Transportation inspector visited the bridge on Monday morning and the Selectboard held a special meeting later that night to authorize an emergency contract to get the bridge shored up “as quickly as possible,” Paquin said.

She said it is too soon to say for how long the bridge will remain closed or how long repairs will take.

“The bridge itself and the bridge deck are in good condition,” Paquin said. “It’s just that abutment that actually holds the bridge that needs to be repaired.”

It is the second Royalton bridge that has been closed this spring. Royalton Hill Bridge, which is also known as Foxstand Bridge, has been closed since early April. The bridge, which crosses the White River between Route 14 and Royalton Hill Road, will remain closed until repairs can be made. Paquin said the town is still working with VTrans to figure out how to fund the work needed to make the bridge safe to use again.

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