May 11, 2009
I was dismayed, but not surprised, when the small bridge over the Hunts River on South Road was closed on May 1st because the surface of the bridge had dropped.
Living just one house away from the bridge, I have been constantly amazed at the amount of traffic on South Road since I moved here. On a daily basis there are assorted sizes of trucks traveling through the neighborhood, many of which far exceed the capacity weight of 12,000 pounds posted on the signs at either end of the road.
I would presume that the daily traffic has taken its toll on the bridge. However, the real culprits who caused the beginning of the end of the little bridge, in my opinion, are the logging trucks that National Grid used when removing hundreds of trees to make way for the power lines that were added in the fall of 2007. The logging company cut a wide swath of trees all the way down to South County for the high voltage wiring that was installed at the end of this massive project.
On a daily basis, once the tree cutting was started, empty logging trucks would travel over the bridge, line up on South Road, right in front of my house, and wait to be filled with the cut trees. Then, once their trucks were filled, they would then travel right back over that bridge. I can’t even imagine the weight of one of those logging trucks empty, never mind once they were loaded with trees.
During that same time, National Grid was also trucking in large railroad ties that were laid down in the marsh areas and used as temporary roads for the other heavy equipment that was used to install the huge stanchions that the wiring was eventually added to. These railroad ties looked to be approximately 12" x 12" and they were very long. I’m sure the weight of moving them in and then out again put much added stress on the bridge.
Now, having read the article in the Journal yesterday that stated the Town of East Greenwich would be financially responsible for the repair and/or replacement of this bridge, I’m pretty peeved that the taxpayers in the town would be required to cover the damage that National Grid no doubt caused, or, at the very least, contributed to.
The work on South Road by National Grid started during the last week of October, 2007 and continued through the end of January, 2008. The reason I know these dates is because I have a blog and I blogged about the activities that took place right outside my windows. I also took some before, during and after photos that I used in my blog postings.
You can see that there is no doubt in my mind that National Grid and the logging companies that they used should be responsible for some of the cost of the bridge repair. They ignored the posted weight restriction signs on a daily basis, and that, along with daily traffic, has now caused the bridge to fail.
I hope that the town has some success in getting National Grid to accept their responsibility in all of this.