By Lisa Loomis

As S.D. Ireland finishes up its replacement of the Kingsbury iron bridge over the Mad River on Route 100 in Warren, the contractor also completed an underpass that connects two sections of the Mad River Path.

Mad River Path director Will Flender said that the project had been in the works at least as long as the planning to replace the bridge had been in the works.

"The underpass connects our trail that goes around the Sugarbush snowmaking pond to the Kingsbury Greenway that goes to the south from the bridge to Riverside Park," Flender said.

Prior to the underpass, the Kingsbury Greenway came down along the river, behind the Golden Lion, over a path association bridge, over Chase Brook and then people had to cross at grade to a bend in Route 100 on the Warren side of the bridge.

"It wasn't as safe as you'd want it. The original idea was that you could get a safer crossing situation there," Flender said.

He said that the cost of the underpass was built into the cost of the bridge replacement. The underpass was made possible when VTrans purchased a parcel of land southeast of the Kingsbury Bridge in the run up to the bridge replacement, which got under way in 2012.

Prior to the VTrans purchase, the path association did not have an easement over that portion of land.

The cost of the bridge replacement project including the underpass was $3,522,363. Per the terms of the contract, the work is to be completed and the Sugarbush snowmaking pond parking area and site returned to its previous condition by June 13.