Bridge opening sooner than anticipated

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By Jamie Norton

Because of a stretch of consistently good weather this fall, the refurbished Church Street bridge may reopen sooner than originally planned.

If the weather continues to cooperate, the bridge could be done as early as Wednesday, Nov. 18, almost two weeks ahead of its Dec. 1 deadline, said Steve Haskins, superintendent at Washington County Department of Public Works, which has been working the project since May.

“This time of year, it gets pretty dicey, but we were fortunate last week with the weather,” he said. “It was very good, and the projection for this week was just as good.”

Granvillians took notice when the crew began paving the bridge last week because, as town Supervisor Matt Hicks said, “paving usually happens toward the end, not toward the beginning.”

“Had we not had the nice weather we’ve had this fall, we might be having a very different conversation,” Haskins said. “We might be struggling to reach the Dec. 1 deadline.”

Pavement markings were done last Friday and new sidewalks were set. Now, Haskins said, the project is down to cleaning things up and reinstalling guardrails.

Haskins knows Granville residents will be happy to have the bridge open again, as its closure has led to extra traffic congestion on Main Street and Quaker Street.

“It’s always a good thing to get a road open to vehicular and pedestrian traffic earlier than anticipated,” Haskins said. “It certainly has been an inconvenience to people traveling in the village. Unfortunately, road construction and bridge construction is a necessary evil.”

Initially slated for replacement, anticipated federal funding was eliminated, causing the estimated $4 million project to be downgraded to a rehabilitation instead. The Department of Public Works then took charge of the project at an estimated cost of $450,000.