Letter: Risks won’t be resolved until the bridges are replaced

Posted 5/7/21

The East Bay Bike Path bridges were shut down in 2019 when regular inspections showed that they were unsafe. At the time, the Department of Transportation (DOT) said that they would replace the …

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Letter: Risks won’t be resolved until the bridges are replaced

Posted

The East Bay Bike Path bridges were shut down in 2019 when regular inspections showed that they were unsafe. At the time, the Department of Transportation (DOT) said that they would replace the bridges in two years at a cost of 10 million dollars.

A little more than year later, the cost estimate has ballooned to 25 million and DOT has no concrete plan or timeline to replace the bridges. Moreover, they are advocating for an “enhanced detour” as an alternative to replacing the bridges.

Since the bike path bridges were closed, bike riders and pedestrian traffic have been rerouted to the sidewalks on Rt. 114. Anyone who has sat at the intersection of County Road and New Meadow Road in Barrington or at the light by Patriot Liquors in Warren has seen the traffic hazards created by the bridge detours, and the significant new risks to riders and pedestrians. These risks won’t be resolved until the bridges are replaced.

DOT needs to hear from our communities that the bridges are an essential part of our transportation infrastructure. These bridge replacements are not optional.

I urge you to add your voice to those who are calling on DOT to get to work. This Thursday, May 6 at 7 pm, the Barrington and Warren Town Councils are holding a joint meeting with DOT that is open to all. DOT will be presenting their ideas on an enhanced detour to improve safety.

It is important to let DOT know that the detour improvements are not a substitute to bridge replacement, and that the bridges must be replaced soon.

I support changes to the detour plan to improve safety but DOT must complete the work to replace the bridges ASAP. Please join me in letting DOT know, in no uncertain terms, that the bridge project cannot wait.

The link for the council meeting can be found here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89900340496

Rep. Jason Knight
Barrington

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