Monday, September 30, 2013

Oct 3: Arrangement in the 8th District court in Keene


8th District 8 court in Keene@8:30

…Question the integrity of the court…one court employee tried to intimidate me into signing the bail requirements. He create inaccurate documents, tried to punish me outside a trial--remove my driving license…didn’t disclose verbally in the police station all condition of my bail. Are court employees controlled by outsiders?

…Talk about inaccurate police documents (the complaint) and to not verbally in the police department  disclosing to me the full nature of the charges against me…the felony.

…Disclose to the court I became privy to the private conversation of my case between the charging police officer and the bail bondman (while under police custody) of them in another room  negotiating (crafting) the nature of the charges against me and discussing how to illegally grab my driving license in punishment to me. 

I expect they will throw me a deal of sorts...I want my day in court.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

N.H. Bridge Meeting Set For Wednesday

Sept 25:

The best we got out of the NHDOT is the bridge might be replaced sometimes after 2021...
District budgets depend on population and some other fudge factor...

NHDOT says they got $75 million in needs, others say much greater than $100...with $45 million in unmet needs on the NHDOT list. The state and fedural funding cover only 40% of the total needs.

We got level funding...with massive increases of needs...

It might become a tragedy of immense proportions with the VY shutdown and a bridge closing happens concurrently

There is a rumor circulating about hardship a bridge shutdown might be imminent...thus one town official after another spoke about  the hardship it would cause between the schools and the police...they are talking about $500,000 to $1 million dollars the shutdown would cost.
So the question comes, considering the devastation to our town and region...would the NHDOT have the courage to do the right thing. Will they follow science and engineering ...
Science and engineering informs us to build the bridge already,...

What is missing from this, is a hightly safisicated poltical accessment of the current NH budget problems and if and when our bridge will be fixed.

I give you a won't be budgeted for 50 years.
N.H. bridge meeting set for Wednesday

By DOMENIC POLI / Reformer Staff

Posted: 09/24/2013 03:00:00 AM EDT

Updated: 09/24/2013 07:03:50 AM EDT

HINSDALE, N.H. -- The first meeting designed for the public to weigh in on the plan to replace the Anna Hunt Marsh and Charles Dana bridges with a new one is slated for noon Wednesday on the second floor of town hall.

Known as a Governor's Advisory Commission on Intermodal Transportation (or GACIT) meeting, it is an opportunity for people to either show their support for bridge projects in New Hampshire or help raise awareness for projects not on 2015-24 N.H. Department of Transportation's 10-year Transportation Improvement Plan. The proposed $45.7 project to construct a new bridge linking Hinsdale to Brattleboro, Vt., and maintain the two existing ones for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, recently made it into the plan's draft proposal.

JB Mack, the principal planner of the Southwest Region Planning Commission, said inclusion in the 10-year plan means the state can start apportioning money for the project, which can enter the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). He told the Reformer that citizens of Vermont are also welcome at the meeting because they are affected by the bridges as well.

"Every bridge that crosses into Vermont is important to the whole region," he said.

Brattleboro can be reached from Hinsdale via the Anna Hunt Marsh and Charles Dana bridges, two Pennsylvania truss bridges built in 1920 that span the Connecticut River. The Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge links Brattleboro to Hinsdale Island, which is connected to Hinsdale by the Charles Dana Bridge. Mack has previously said federal highway standards dictate the bridges are too narrow and have insufficient weight limits and vertical clearances. They are considered "functionally obsolete" at this point.

The project is supported by elected and appointed officials on both sides of the river, as they view a new bridge as a necessity for both safety and economic reasons.

N.H. State Rep. Bill Butynski (D-Hinsdale, Chesterfield, Walpole, Westmoreland) said he hopes for a good turnout Wednesday and wanted to thank the N.H. Department of Transportation for putting the project on the draft proposal of the 10-year plan.

"It's a significant step forward. What we need to do now is ensure it stays in the plan," he said, adding that the old bridges are deteriorating. "It's in everyone's best interest on both sides of the bridge to get it done sooner, rather than later."

The bridges are used by emergency services, such as Mutual Aid, and a delay at the train tracks on the Brattleboro side of the bridges could be the difference between life and death for someone who needs to be transported to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. Fire and police departments also use the bridges. The new bridge would go over the railroad tracks and alleviate traffic at the section of downtown Brattleboro known as "malfunction junction."

Butynski also said a new bridge is vital for economic prosperity of both Hinsdale and Brattleboro. He said he has heard of several businesses that nearly moved to the tax-incentive district of Hinsdale until those in charge opted not to because their large trucks could not get across the Anna Hunt Marsh and Charles Dana bridges. He said a new structure would make it easier for people to get to the Tractor Supply Co. store that will soon be completed in Hinsdale and connect New Hampshire residents with the downtown businesses and entertainment Brattleboro offers.

"To me, it clearly benefits people on both sides of the river," he said.

Butynski also mentioned that the Vilas Bridge -- the closed bridge linking Walpole to Bellows Falls, Vt. -- may be discussed at Wednesday's meeting in Hinsdale as well.

The second GACIT meeting is slated for Room 14 at the Keene Parks and Recreation Center at 312 Washington St. on Tuesday, Oct. 8.

Domenic Poli can be reached at, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

NHDOT Shutting Down Hinsdale Bridge Shortly?

Just got a called from a select board member insider...

Reliable sources are saying the Hinsdale bridge committee and select board has been given feelers by the NHDOT hinting that there is a 50% chance the Hinsdale bridges are going to be shutdown permanently in the next week or so...

Big NHDOT meeting on the bridges are scheduled for this Wednesday...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

AP: Many US Bridges Old, Risky and Rundown

AP IMPACT: Many US Bridges Old, Risky and Rundown

WASHINGTON September 15, 2013 (AP)
By JOAN LOWY and MIKE BAKER Associated Press
Motorists coming off the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge into Washington are treated to a postcard-perfect view of the U.S. Capitol. The bridge itself, however, is about as ugly as it gets: The steel underpinnings have thinned since the structure was built in 1950, and the span is pocked with rust and crumbling concrete.
 Alesia Tisdall stands for a photograph under the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge which spans the Anacostia River in Washington on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. Tisdall, who drove daily over the bridge for 15 years but now crosses it only occasionally, said she found it unnerving that the bridge would "bounce" in the middle as she sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic. "You’d look at the person sitting next to you like, 'Did you feel that bounce?' And they’d be looking back at you like they were thinking the same thing," said Tisdall, 50, a computer systems specialist at the Justice Department. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Here is the structurally deficient Frederick Douglass notice how nicely painted (corrosion prevention) this dangerous bridge is compared to the not structurally deficient Hinsdale NH route 119 bridge. Check out how nice those bridge piers look. You can click on the picture to make it bigger.  This bridge looks almost new compared to the 1921 Hinsdale bridge.

District of Columbia officials were so worried about a catastrophic failure that they shored up the horizontal beams to prevent the bridge from falling into the Anacostia River
And safety concerns about the Douglass bridge, which is used by more than 70,000 vehicles daily, are far from unique.
An Associated Press analysis of 607,380 bridges in the most recent federal National Bridge Inventory showed that 65,605 were classified as "structurally deficient" and 20,808 as "fracture critical." Of those, 7,795 were both — a combination of red flags that experts say indicate significant disrepair and similar risk of collapse.
So the Hinsdale bridge is "not" structurally deficient....not even on the red list.

This is where the huge truss arching over the top of the deck gets attached to the concrete footing or foundation. The paint job or corrosion preventing coating is disgusting on our bridge and it is indicative of disgraceful NHDOT maintenance.
A bridge is deemed fracture critical when it doesn't have redundant protections and is at risk of collapse if a single, vital component fails. A bridge is structurally deficient when it is in need of rehabilitation or replacement because at least one major component of the span has advanced deterioration or other problems that lead inspectors to deem its condition poor or worse.

Actually that roller bearing on this truss above is damaged and non is rust or corrosion frozen. This crumbling concrete holds up one of the four truss legs...the concrete foundation under all the legs are no better. 
Engineers say the bridges are safe. And despite the ominous sounding classifications, officials say that even bridges that are structurally deficient or fracture critical are not about to collapse.
The AP zeroed in on the Douglass bridge and others that fit both criteria — structurally deficient and fracture critical. Together, they carry more than 29 million drivers a day, and many were built more than 60 years ago. Those bridges are located in all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, and include the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, a bridge on the New Jersey highway that leads to the Lincoln Tunnel, and the Main Avenue Bridge in Cleveland
The number of bridges nationwide that are both structurally deficient and fracture critical has been fairly constant for a number of years, experts say. But both lists fluctuate frequently, especially at the state level, since repairs can move a bridge out of the deficient categories while spans that grow more dilapidated can be put on the lists. There are occasional data-entry errors. There also is considerable lag time between when state transportation officials report data to the federal government and when updates are made to the National Bridge Inventory.
Many fracture critical bridges were erected in the 1950s to 1970s during construction of the interstate highway system because they were relatively cheap and easy to build. Now they have exceeded their designed life expectancy but are still carrying traffic — often more cars and trucks than they were originally expected to handle. The Interstate 5 bridge in Washington state that collapsed in May was fracture critical.
Cities and states would like to replace the aging and vulnerable bridges, but few have the money; nationally, it is a multibillion-dollar problem. As a result, highway engineers are juggling repairs and retrofits in an effort to stay ahead of the deterioration.
There are thousands of inspectors across the country "in the field every day to determine the safety of the nation's bridges," Victor Mendez, head of the Federal Highway Administration, said in a statement. "If a bridge is found to be unsafe, immediate action is taken."
At the same time, all that is required to cause a fracture critical bridge to collapse is a single unanticipated event that damages a critical portion of the structure.
"It's kind of like trying to predict where an earthquake is going to hit or where a tornado is going to touch down," said Kelley Rehm, bridges program manager for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
Signs of age are clear. The Douglass bridge, also known as the South Capitol Street Bridge, was designed to last 50 years. It's now 13 years past that. The district's transportation department has inserted so-called catcher beams underneath the bridge's main horizontal beams to keep the bridge from falling into the river, should a main component fail.
The so-called catcher beams...
AP IMPACT: Tough route for fixing aging bridges
Why doesn't the Hinsdale bridge have catcher beams...
Alesia Tisdall, who drove over the bridge every day for 15 years but now crosses it only occasionally, said she found its "bounce" unnerving.
"You'd look at the person sitting next to you like, 'Did you feel that bounce?' And they'd be looking back at you like they were thinking the same thing," said Tisdall, a computer systems specialist at the Justice Department.
Peter Vanderzee, CEO of Lifespan Technologies of Alpharetta, Ga., which uses special sensors to monitor bridges for stress, said steel fatigue is a problem in the older bridges.
"Bridges aren't built to last forever," he said. He compared steel bridges to a paper clip that's opened and bent back and forth until it breaks.
"That's a fatigue failure," he said. "In a bridge system, it may take millions of cycles before it breaks. But many of these bridges have seen millions of cycles of loading and unloading."
That fatigue is evident in a steel truss bridge over Interstate 5 in Washington state — south of the similar steel truss that collapsed in May. The span that carries northbound drivers over the east fork of the Lewis River was built in 1936.
Because of age, corrosion and metal fatigue caused by vibration, the state has implemented weight restrictions on the bridge. Washington state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Heidi Sause said the bridge wasn't built for the kind of wear — bigger loads and more traffic — that is now common.
"This is a bridge that we pay close attention to and we monitor very carefully," Sause said.
The biggest difference between the bridge over the Lewis River and the one over the Skagit River that collapsed May 23 is that the span still standing has actually been listed in worse condition. State officials hope to replace it in the next 10 to 15 years.
While the Skagit span was not structurally deficient, the I-35W bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis in 2007 had received that designation. The bridge fell during rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the cause of the collapse was an error by the bridge's designers, not the deficiencies found by inspectors. A gusset plate, a fracture critical component of the bridge, was too thin.
Many of the bridges included in the AP review have sufficiency ratings — a score designed to gauge the importance of replacing the span — that are much lower than the Skagit bridge. A bridge with a score less than 50 on a 100-point scale can be eligible for federal funds to help replace the span. More than 400 bridges that are fracture critical and structurally deficient have a score of less than 10, according to the latest federal inventory.
The Brooklyn Bridge is among the worst.
There are wide gaps between states in historical bridge construction and their ongoing maintenance. While the numbers at the state level are in flux, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Pennsylvania have all been listed recently in the national inventory as having more than 600 bridges both structurally deficient and fracture critical.
Pennsylvania has whittled down its backlog of structurally deficient bridges but still has many more to go, with an estimated 300 bridges in position to move onto the structurally deficient list every year if no maintenance is done. Barry Schoch, the state transportation secretary, said in an interview that officials would like to add redundancy to fracture critical bridges when they can, particularly if a bridge is also structurally deficient.
"Those are high on the priority list," Schoch said.
After the 1983 collapse of the I-95 bridge over the Mianus River in Connecticut, the focus turned to a fracture critical bridge style known as pin-and-hanger assembly.
Pennsylvania worked over the following years to add catcher beams to its pin-and-hanger spans. That's the case now on the George Wade Bridge that carries I-81 traffic across the Susquehanna River. More recently, crews have also been trying to move the bridge off the structurally deficient list after finding significant cracks in the piers.
Officials say northeastern states face particular challenges because the infrastructure there is older and the weather is more grueling, with dramatic and frequent freeze-thaw cycles that can put stress on roads and bridges.
Many Pennsylvania lawmakers have long sought to boost transportation funding, in part to address crumbling bridges. But this year's proposals, including Gov. Tom Corbett's $1.8 billion plan, stalled amid fights over details.
That's a common issue among infrastructure managers in other states, who say they don't have the money to replace all the bridges that need work. Instead, they continue to do patch fixes and temporary improvements.
Washington's Douglass bridge has been rehabilitated twice. The catcher beams were added because the pin-and-hanger expansion joints that hold the bridge's main girders in place had deteriorated to the point "we were concerned that we could have a failure, and that the failure could be catastrophic," said Ronaldo Nicholson, the chief bridge engineer for the area.
"If the joint fails, then the beam doesn't have anything to carry itself because there are only two beams. Therefore the bridge fails, which is why we call it fracture critical," Nicholson said.
The bridge has a sufficiency rating of 60, an increase from the 49 rating in 2008 before some repair work was done. It remains structurally deficient because inspectors deemed the superstructure in poor condition due to "advanced structural steel section loss with holes and overhang bracket connection deficiencies," according to an inspection report from earlier this year.
A new bridge would cost about $450 million if it was required to be able to open so large ships can travel the Anacostia, an infrequent occurrence, Nicholson said. If not, the cost could be as low as $300 million, he said.
Nicholson emphasized that if city officials feel the bridge is unsafe, they'll prohibit trucks from crossing or close the span entirely. Inspections have been stepped up to every six months instead of the usual two-year intervals for most bridges. In the meantime, officials are trying to stretch the bridge's life for another five years — the time they estimate it will take to build a replacement.
Congressional interest in fixing bridges rose after the 2007 collapse in Minneapolis, but efforts to add billions of extra federal dollars specifically for repair and replacement of deficient and obsolete bridges foundered. A sweeping transportation law enacted last year eliminated a dedicated bridge fund that had been around for more than three decades. State transportation officials had complained the fund's requirements were too restrictive. Now, bridge repairs or replacements must compete with other types of highway projects for federal aid.
The new law requires states to beef up bridge inspection standards and qualifications for bridge inspectors. However, federal regulators are still drafting the new standards.
"Do we have the funding to replace 18,000 fracture critical bridges right now?" Rehm asked. "No. Would we like to? Of course."
Baker reported from Seattle. Interactive Newsroom Technology Editor Troy Thibodeaux in New Orleans contributed data analysis.
The AP National Investigative Team can be reached at

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Legal Help?

So I began talking to a Keene lawyer about my charges. Seeing how it is a felony case, it is $4000 dollars as a retainer. He seemed to think I had a first amendment speech. It could go up to $20,000 if I wanted to take it to the Supreme Court. I do!

I talked about the issues of police paperwork accuracy and the court bail bondmen issues...he said these are separate issues. You can only go after them if you sue the town. He didn’t think the judge would allow these issues into the court. That is why I didn’t like this guy.

He said if the state or police ever dropped all the charges...that would be an easy legal suit to win. That is why they won't drop the case...

So my priorities are:

1) Why is the bridge and NHDOT like the way it is...fix it!
2) My legal defence.
3) Why all the inaccuracies in the police paperwork...fix the Hinsdale police department.
4) Why did the court and bail bondmen treat me the way he did and try to punish me outside the court...fix this.

I need to have and see all these issues addressed!

Orininally posted on 8/6/2013

'Halo Guy' RepresentingSelf @ Trial

Could somebody help me go through the ACLU processes.

You will be working with a really talented guy...

ACLU and “Halo Guy”

Can somebody help me negotiate the intake process of the ACLU?

I’ve got five counts pending and felony.

It would be a interesting case…

I thinks there is local massive wrong doing going on with the police, courts and our political system

I am not looking for justice for me…I am looking for justice for my town and the greater “us“.

You can make a name for yourself and bolster your professional reputationout of this…

I need some legal help and probably legal defense funds. I am unemployed.

So we got any other “halo guys” out there like me?  
Right, all those thousands people who thanked me for doing this on the road about the not safe bridges, all the thousands people that spoke of admiring me and asking me “how can we help you mike”...this is your time at bat!

Was it all just talk?

Mike Mulligan
PO 161
Hinsdale, NH
cell 16032094206


NHDOT Washing Salt Off Our Bridges In Sept

NHDOT Washing Salt Off A Bridge In Sept

How stupid is that, they should be washing salt off a bridge on Sept 12? There should have had the tanker truck out there in April...when the year’s salt use on the roads are over.

So I came across a water tanker on the bridge and the bridge being single lane.

They were doing a half ass job of rinsing salt off the bridge...what about underneath the road bed.
So what does the bridge winter salt wash on Sept 12 mean? I think the legislators have given the NHDOT their marching orders. The 1921 Hinsdale bridge is not going to be replaced in the forseeable make it last for 20 years by washing it as often as it needs. Paint job, forget it, we can't afford it?
The NHDOT has been spending tons of money on this end of route 119. There was trash here on these turnoffs a few days ago and discarded furnature for years. This is on Conn River side...across the street was the discarded couch. 

Do you think it fixed the problem?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hinsdale's Sewalls Falls Bridge

In 2005 the Sewall Falls bridge had about a "daily traffic across the bridge is approximately 3000 vehicles" more than 5000 VPD today. Hinsdale is about 10,000.

So where is our Hinsdale's route 119 bridge Shaheen and Rep tour...nobody locally got the guts to tour our bridge because they don't really want to know how bad it is.

Shaheen, Kuster tour SewallsFalls Bridge and call for its replacement


Monitor staff
Friday, September 13, 2013
(Published in print: Saturday, September 14, 2013)

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster visited the Sewalls Falls Bridge yesterday to express concern about its condition, which Concord officials said is deteriorating while they await federal approval to replace it.
“Hopefully we can help move it along,” Kuster said, as she stood on the steel truss bridge.
City Engineer Ed Roberge led Shaheen, Kuster, Mayor Jim Bouley and other officials on a tour of the bridge across the Merrimack River yesterday morning and showed them its “levels of deterioration.” After holes were found in the bridge this summer, Roberge said the city spent about $30,000 on repairs. Only passenger vehicles that weigh less than 3 tons are now permitted to cross the bridge; that limit increases response times for ambulances traveling to emergencies in East Concord.
The city council voted earlier this year to replace rather than rehabilitate the nearly 100-year-old structure, but the federal government has not yet completed its historical review of the bridge or allowed the city to begin designing a new one.
Shaheen and Kuster sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation on the city’s behalf in July, urging officials to complete their study. Federal funds will cover 80 percent of the roughly $10 million bridge replacement project, and the government must complete a historic preservation review to minimize damage to historic places. That review with the state Division of Historical Resources has delayed the replacement project.
Design work cannot begin without that final approval, even though “the financing is all there,” said City Manager Tom Aspell.
“There are significant issues with the safety of the bridge,” Shaheen said yesterday. “Hopefully we’ll get that decision (from the Department of Transportation) very soon. Congresswoman Kuster and I have weighed in with the Department of Transportation to urge them to move expeditiously so we can replace this bridge as soon as possible.”
Bouley thanked Shaheen and Kuster yesterday for visiting the bridge and working to assist the city.
“Time is of the essence,” he said.
Yesterday morning, officials walked underneath the approach to the bridge on the west side of the Merrimack River. Roberge pointed to deteriorating steel and said the bridge is becoming a safety concern.
“There’s a certain amount of lifetime movement on the steel before it really becomes brittle,” he said. “It’s like a paper clip. You start bending that, and all the sudden it breaks. That’s the issue that we have here.”
Bridges are typically inspected every other year, Roberge said, but officials are now inspecting the bridge every month to determine whether it is safe for vehicles. It is a nonredundant structure, Roberge said, meaning the entire bridge could collapse if one part fails.
“We’ve got a public safety issue, we’ve got a major inconvenience issue, the facilities and the trucks and the school buses and the ambulances have to take a longer way around,” Kuster said. “If you add five or 10 minutes to an ambulance ride, you’re talking about a serious public safety issue in addition to risk of injury from the bridge, actually, at this point. . . . So we need to urge the government to move as expeditiously as possible.”
Shaheen added that the bridge project is an example of much-needed infrastructure improvement.
“Beyond public safety, which is the top priority, for the city to grow, this has to be dealt with,” she said. “And this is the kind of project that we’ve got throughout New Hampshire and all throughout the country; we’ve got red-list bridges that need to be addressed, and we’ve got to start investing in our infrastructure.”
(Laura McCrystal can be reached at 369-3312 or
Originally published July 6, 2013
wouldn't trust anything these government haters libertarians would say. Basically, it is based on state reporting, I wouldn't trust anything reported by a state and especially NH on the condition of their highway infrastrure.
Reason Foundation advances a free society by developing, applying, and promoting libertarian principles, including individual liberty, free markets, and the rule of law - See more at:
I don’t trust any bridge inspection report done in NH…
The Brat Reformer put this up on their site and later took it down.  

And the “Union Leader” newspaper is nothing but a extremist hard right wing rag…
Report on NH roads: Good, some bumps ahead
Interstate highways in the southern tier of the state are the best in the nation, ranked number one in a 50-state analysis by the Reason Foundation, a nonpartisan, public-policy foundation that publishes Reason magazine.

With zero miles of urban interstate in poor condition, New Hampshire ranks first in that category, based largely on data from the Federal Highway Administration.

But with 30 percent of its bridges in poor or “deficient” condition, the state’s ranking on bridge quality falls to 41st. Only nine states have a larger percentage of bridges classified as deficient
I am just saying, this is an example with how close to death and economic destruction the state will allow a bridge to go.

It is the town's bridge and they are using state funding to repair this it is diluting the funding on all state bridges. It is not on a state designated route.

There are issues with the local people wanting this single lane and weight restricted choke point bridge...not wanting traffic and economic development.

I am just saying, it will take in excess of 10 years once we get on the ever expanding bad boy red listed bridge. We aren't near getting on the bridge red list.

I get it now, the bridge is a quarter mile away from the Concord Monitor's office.

Again, There are no strict NHDOT structural and safety standards…engineering and science standards. This is one of 400 red listed bridges and list is increasing by the year. We aren’t on a red list.

This bridge age is from 1915 and ours is 1921...

The span of the bridge is tiny compared to us...unsupported length between the piers.
Editorial: Bridge must be replaced as quickly as possible 
 Sunday, July 7, 2013
(Published in print: Sunday, July 7, 2013)
One day last week Concord motorists were forced to hit the brakes coming from and going toward the Sewalls Falls bridge. They carefully maneuvered around a clutch of workers fixing a patch of roadway and then (Phew! That was close!) hit the gas and went on their way. But that didn’t fix everything. To the contrary, workers found even more urgent repair needs. This week, the bridge will be closed for four days while more work is done, forcing drivers to find alternative routes. 
Enough already. 
Taxpayers have been throwing good money after bad for years. The bridge is in terrible shape. No secret there – it’s been on the state’s list of bad bridges for a long, long time. The rusty, twisted guardrails spook those drivers who haven’t grown accustomed to them. The weight load was recently downgraded from 14 tons to 10, preventing the use of the bridge by city emergency vehicles, and another downgrade is possible.
The steel trusses need repair and repainting. Both abutments have extensive cracking.
Here’s how a recent report by city and state officials described the part of the bridge you don’t see from behind the wheel: “There have been significant problems with the cut granite pier. A considerable number of stones have cracked, shifted and/or fallen into the river, thereby compromising the overall integrity of the pier. Although New Hampshire Department of Transportation Bridge Maintenance forces have performed repairs, these are not considered as permanently addressing concerns with the pier. The existing substructure elements are founded on spread footings placed on original soil at the excavated depths. Piles supporting the substructure were not utilized and the foundation design does not meet current protective scour design standards.”
In other words, yikes.
The state first started thinking about improving the Sewalls Falls bridge in 1994 – a year you might remember as a time when Bill Clinton was in the White House, Forrest Gump was playing at the movies and O.J. Simpson was accused of murder.
Budget realities have slowed the process over the years, as has a change of plans for the bridge.
But the time for action is now.Until recently, the plan called for two spans, each going in one direction: one would be the existing Sewalls Falls bridge, saved and rehabilitated; the second would be a new bridge built alongside it. But in February, faced with a new assessment of the cost of fixing and maintaining the old bridge, the Concord City Council wisely reconsidered.
Removing the bridge and replacing it with something modern, safe, cost-effective and, dare we say, better looking, is the right way to go.
Trouble is, switching gears has triggered a whole new round of government bureaucracy. Because the bridge, built in 1915, is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and because the replacement project will be federally funded, it’s subject to a historic preservation review.
Didn’t that happen years ago? Yes, of course, but that’s when the plan was to save the bridge. The new plan, to replace it, means that work must be done all over again. According to City Engineer Ed Roberge, it could delay construction for as long as a year.
This can’t possibly be the best course, for taxpayers or for motorists. The debate – save the bridge versus replace the bridge – has been had. The public has weighed in. The city council made a difficult but smart decision.
Surely the feds – perhaps with some heat from New Hampshire’s congressional delegation – could be convinced that speed is of the essence here. The Sewalls Falls bridge, which isn’t getting any younger or safer, should be replaced as quickly as possible.

Monitor staff

Saturday, July 6, 2013               

The roadway approaching the Sewalls Falls Bridge is falling apart. The bridge across the Merrimack River will close while it’s repaired next week.
A section of concrete in the approach to the bridge failed last week, leaving a hole in the deck. Crews repaired that spot, but also inspected the bridge. Several other spots were also close to failing, said City Engineer Ed Roberge.
“The pavement condition is not the best on that approach span, and it’s really because of the concrete that’s beneath it,” he said.
So next week, Roberge said crews will “chop those areas out and replace those.” The work includes replacing the failing concrete and adding steel reinforcements. The bridge will be closed Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Though the city plans to tear down and replace the 1915-era truss bridge, it could be a few more years before that work begins. Meanwhile, the bridge needs additional repairs to remain usable.

“It’s in tough shape,” said City Manager Tom Aspell.
Roberge said he’s also evaluating whether to reduce the load limit on the bridge.
“It seems like every time I visit the city council, they ask me is it safe and can we keep it open,” he said. “There’s caveats to that, and one may be that we make a recommendation to down-post it.”
He’ll wait to make that decision until next week’s repairs are done. The one-lane bridge currently has a load limit of 10 tons; it’s previously been downgraded from 20 tons and 14 tons. With a 10-ton limit, Roberge said an ambulance is “the upper-end limit of that weight load.”
Engineering studies have shown that the bridge is in a state of disrepair.
“The existing conditions of the roadway and bridge result in safety hazards for the traveling public and segments the recreation trail systems that exist on both sides of the bridge as noted above,” states a May report from CHA Consulting Inc.
Earlier this year, the city council voted to replace the bridge rather than rehabilitate it. But officials have not yet begun designs for a new bridge.
The federal government will fund 80 percent of the project. The Federal Highway Administration still must grant approval for the project to continue, and must review the impact of removing the historical structure.

Sewalls Falls Bridge to close for repairs
  •  A truck starts across the Sewalls Falls Bridge; Wednesday, July 3, 2013. The bridge will be closed for several days next week for repair work on the roadway on the west side of the span.<br/><br/>ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff A truck starts across the Sewalls Falls Bridge; Wednesday, July 3, 2013. The bridge will be closed for several days next week for repair work on the roadway on the west side of the span.

    ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff
  • The crumbling Sewalls Falls Bridge will be closed for several days next week for repair work on the roadway on the west side of the span. Photographed on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.<br/><br/>ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staffThe crumbling Sewalls Falls Bridge will be closed for several days next week for repair work on the roadway on the west side of the span. Photographed on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

    ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff
  • The crumbling Sewalls Falls Bridge will be closed for several days next week for repair work on the roadway on the west side of the span. Photographed on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.<br/><br/>ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staffThe crumbling Sewalls Falls Bridge will be closed for several days next week for repair work on the roadway on the west side of the span. Photographed on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.
Monitor staff

Tuesday, February 12, 2013               

After serving as a path across the Merrimack River for nearly 100 years, the Sewalls Falls Bridge will be coming down. The Concord City Council voted unanimously last night to tear down and replace the aging steel bridge in East Concord.
“I think the time has come to now move along,” said at-large Councilor Steve Shurtleff, who has long advocated to preserve the bridge.
“It’s unfair to the people in the area that use that bridge. We need a new bridge. It’s a safety hazard.”
But the bridge could be here to stay for at least a few more years; the state Department of Transportation’s current capital plan includes nearly $15.2 million for the project in 2014 and 2015.
The city council voted in 2006 to rehabilitate the bridge and build a new, one-lane bridge alongside it. But last August, after a new study revealed the bridge was in worse condition than expected, the council voted to again review about a dozen options.
Last night, City Engineer Ed Roberge asked the council to decide between two options: remove and replace the bridge or continue with the 2006 plan.
Rehabilitating the bridge and building a new one would have cost more than previously expected, Roberge said, and maintaining the existing bridge would have long-term costs.
Ward 3 Councilor Jan McClure said she supported replacing the bridge, but had heard from residents who feared a new bridge would “create a superhighway into what is a residential neighborhood right now.”
The bridge replacement will require closing the bridge during construction