OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SELECTBOARD SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
July 20, 2015
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 11:35 a.m. Selectboard members Lewis Sumner, Doug Grob, and Edee Edwards were present, as were Brad Rafus, Marc Pickering (VTrans District Administrator), and Sven Scribner (VTrans Structural Engineer).
Changes and Additions to Agenda
Meet with VTrans Structural Engineer Regarding Branch Road Bridge
The meeting opened in the town office conference room. Lewis Sumner said the town had been awarded a structural engineering grant from the state, and VTrans engineer Sven Scribner was present to advise the best way of addressing the damage to Branch Road bridge. After initial discussion, participants traveled to Branch Road bridge to examine the structure. Scribner said the bridge was pretty strong—it needs minor rehabilitation but has a lot of life left in it. The most recent State bridge report rated the deck a 7, which indicates at least another fifteen years of use can be anticipated.
Edee Edwards discussed possibilities for a new structure and expressed concerns over the positioning of the bridge. She wondered if a record of accidents at the location existed.
Scribner estimated the bridge deck had been replaced in the 1970s. Brad Rafus said the Highway Department has patched some holes in the deck; Scribner described a longer-lasting patch method that would further preserve deck integrity. He explained a new method used by the State to scale I-beams and protect them with a type of non-petroleum undercoating, rather than repainting. The I-beams themselves are in good shape.
Scribner recommended repairing, rather than replacing, the apron and guardrails and described in detail methods that could be employed. Deck drainage could also be improved. Rehabilitation would be simpler, considerably less expensive than replacement and would require fewer permits. Marc Pickering said repairs of the type under discussion should not require hiring a structural engineer. Instead, the town could invite bids from concrete experts, and the grant funds could be used toward rehabilitation. VTrans can supply names of possible contractors and will work with the chosen vendor.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.