The bridge over the Mad River on Route 100 by the Lareau Farm Inn closes for 35 days on June 19. It is scheduled to reopen on July 24.
The bridge is being replaced by St. Onge Construction using, in part, the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s accelerated bridge replacement program, which calls for completely closing a road to replace bridges using some precast components. Contractors will be working 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., if necessary, to meet the 35-day closure deadline.
Southbound traffic will be detoured to Route 17, German Flats and Sugarbush Access Road. Northbound traffic will follow that route in reverse. The Fayston Select Board has lowered the speed limit on German Flats from 35 to 30 mph during the closure and detour period.
While the bridge is closed, American Flatbread at the Lareau Farm Inn remains open, as does the Lareau swim hole. VTrans’ public outreach coordinator, Cindy Cook, noted that the construction will not affect swimmers at the swim hole.
“However, because the bridge area is an active construction zone, it will not be safe for people to swim, wade or boat near or beneath the bridge. The project team will post signs near the water’s edge to inform people that they are approaching a construction zone and should stay away. I’d appreciate anything you can do to help get the word out that while we hope that people enjoy the swimming hole, wading, swimming and boating in the immediate vicinity of the bridge should be avoided in the interest of safety,” Cook said.
The existing bridge was built in 1938 and is in poor condition. The new bridge will meet current design standards and improve safety. When the bridge is replaced it will go from a two-span structure to a single-span structure. It will be 172 feet long instead of 130 to 140.
There is an existing pier in the river that supports the current bridge. To access that, the contractors will build a temporary, very low causeway. Once they have done that, they will begin to remove the steel and other portions of the old bridge. That work will start when the bridge is closed. With the Lareau bridge, the abutments are being precast and a crane will be used to place them. The other pieces of the bridge, the steel girders and the 4-inch precast panels that will make up the deck, will be transported to the site and installed.