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I-91 Bridge Options for Brattleboro at Thursday Meeting    
Tuesday, August 14 2012 @ 02:50 PM GMT+4
Contributed by: cgrotke

Town Plan

Here are suggested designs for a bridge to replace the current I-91 bridge over the West River in Brattleboro.

A meeting to discuss the aesthetics of the bridge designs is scheduled for Thursday, August 16th from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Community Room at the Windham Regional Career Center at 80 Atwood Street in Brattleboro.

The above images are taken from the Public Meeting presentation done by Vtrans. Three options are shown, and supporting text attempts to steer the decision to the simple, ugly designs. They are cheaper to build and easier to work on, says VTrans.

Other bridge types were not presented.

This is one of the first major bridges visitors to Vermont experience when driving up 91.

This is one of those "speak now or forever hold your peace" events that planners will point back at years from now to say there was ample public opportunity for input. If the way the bridge looks is important to you, go to the meeting or get in touch with Windham Regional Commission Senior Planner Matt Mann (mmann@sover.net) at 802-257-4547.

The WRC has been given a deadline of August 22 by Vtrans to gather and send any concerns about the aesthetics of the design.

 

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  • I-91 Bridge Options for Brattleboro at Thursday Meeting | 14 comments | Create New Account
    The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they may say.
    I-91 Bridge Options for Brattleboro at Thursday Meeting
    Authored by: PutneyReject on Tuesday, August 14 2012 @ 11:12 PM GMT+4
    You really don't have a clue what the bridge looks like
    while driving over it so that is a bit of a red herring.

    That said, I think the arch is the most pleasing design.
    I-91 Bridge Options for Brattleboro at Thursday Meeting
    Authored by: annikee on Wednesday, August 15 2012 @ 12:46 AM GMT+4
    The box is awful. Either of the others looks fine.

    ---
    veritas fortis vocat
    I-91 Bridge Options for Brattleboro at Thursday Meeting
    Authored by: BusyMom on Wednesday, August 15 2012 @ 09:51 AM GMT+4
    1st choice: Arch
    2nd choice: Concrete box
    I-91 Bridge Options for Brattleboro at Thursday Meeting
    Authored by: Jeezum Crow on Wednesday, August 15 2012 @ 09:54 AM GMT+4
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I like the middle one best for the long term.

    I feel the top one is ugly but perhaps the little image on my computer screne does it some sort of injustice.

    The third one has the advantage of looking most like the one that is being replaced, and that may make it more appealing to some folks for nostalgic reasons. It would look fine while it is new, but think about future maintenance. Painting is something that is frequently deferred due to budget issues. A bridge like this is apt to become an eyesore like the existing one due to delays in painting.
    I-91 Bridge Options for Brattleboro at Thursday Meeting
    Authored by: BrandieStarr on Wednesday, August 15 2012 @ 11:40 AM GMT+4
    I will probably not be popular for this but I actually like the first one. The arch is really nice too but at least in this picture it looks a bit imposing.. I will be curious to see the choice!
    I-91 Bridge Options for Brattleboro at Thursday Meeting
    Authored by: cgrotke on Wednesday, August 15 2012 @ 01:12 PM GMT+4
    Try to picture them in different seasons, too - with
    autumn leaves or winter snow behind them.

    All three are bridges and would "work" for what they are
    designed to do. Aesthetically, I find all three seem
    lacking.

    The first two seem clunky. I'd rather see a greater
    attempt to streamline them and make them more high-
    tech, like the old visions of the future. If it's going to look
    like a new bridge, make it really modern. Maybe a bit of
    ornamentation of some sort at the ends or middle.

    The last one is obviously meant to be similar to the
    current bridge, but the cement makes it look a bit heavy.
    If we went this route, I'd rather see cables being utilized,
    or more steel.
    I-91 Bridge Options for Brattleboro at Thursday Meeting
    Authored by: babalu on Wednesday, August 15 2012 @ 04:05 PM GMT+4
    Isn't the "gateway view" from above, rather than
    below the bridge? I don't think people will be hoping
    out of the cars on I91 to peer over the railing but it
    does bring to mind two things; I was passing
    northbound on the bridge when a man was struggling
    to jump; he later died. A few years prior, I was going
    southbound as a school bus driver, wondering why a
    truck was parked in the median with the yellow roof
    light flashing. Just as I saw a tractor trailer hit the
    northbound bridge, then turn to miss a pick up truck
    that was pinging from one side to the other,
    ultimately losing control of his big rig - I realized the
    bridge was sheer ice. The truck with a yellow flashing
    light parked in the median was I think, hoping
    people would magically realize why they were there.
    Having to focus on the road ahead with a bus full of
    children, I could only notice out of the corner of my
    eye what happened next. My heart was in my throat
    and my hands were tightly grasping the steering
    wheel for dear life. I don't think I took a breath until
    we had crossed the span.
    The next morning the Reformer had a picture
    showing the cab of that truck dangling over the side,
    the driver or passenger having fallen to the depths
    below. His body was not recovered until the
    springtime.
    So, my thoughts are only this; whatever this bridge
    looks like from below the deck, let it at least have
    higher, stronger guardrails for the next ice storm or
    distraught jumper. Let it be ugly or a work of art, but
    make it safe.
    I-91 Bridge Options for Brattleboro at Thursday Meeting
    Authored by: Jeezum Crow on Wednesday, August 15 2012 @ 04:28 PM GMT+4
    I agree whatever it looks like, make it as safe as possible. If one of the proposed designs is less prone to ice buildup, give it extra consideration.
    I-91 Bridge Options for Brattleboro at Thursday Meeting
    Authored by: Mr. Buddy Love on Wednesday, August 15 2012 @ 04:05 PM GMT+4
    Building a bridge that is both high end aesthetic AND well
    engineered is probably beyond the
    mental comprehension of the average American federal
    infrastructure planner (interstate
    highway), but I think a bridge says something about how
    we like our surroundings, how much
    we value the West River, and the views in town.

    This is the bridge I would like to see, although I realize it's
    too late now. The ugly cost
    analysts won this time (copy both lines below before
    pasting).
    http://cutcaster.com/photo/800925492-Beautiful-steel-
    arch-bridge/
    Love to see this (42 months design to finish)
    Authored by: Gravy on Wednesday, August 15 2012 @ 05:20 PM GMT+4
    The Penobscott Bridge and Observatory: http://www.maine.gov/mdot/pnbo/index.htm

    It did cost $85 million, and was built before the economy crashed...
    Love to see this (42 months design to finish)
    Authored by: Mr. Buddy Love on Wednesday, August 15 2012 @ 07:10 PM GMT+4
    I like that new bridge. In the photos you can still see the old
    bridge, which I drove over back in 2002 and it was scary and
    old. I wish Brattleboro could get a nice design like that,
    especially as Rt. 30 is designated as one of the most
    beautiful scenic roadways in New England.
    Two Bridges for the Price of One!
    Authored by: JohnWilmerding on Thursday, August 16 2012 @ 09:38 AM GMT+4
    A few years back, I submitted the suggestion to the
    Town Planning Office that the bridge ought to
    suspend below it a pedestrian-bicycle bridge at the
    level of Route 30 so that folks can cross the river
    there too. It seems to me a grievous error that now
    the bridge is to be built, it would leave that out.

    The Town Plan favors building more residential
    housing in North Brattleboro (Putney Road). Several
    motels in the area are already used for emergency
    and low-income housing. Since we are building a
    major new parks and recreation facility a stone's
    throw from the bridge. we ought to provide a handy
    way for North Brattleboro folks to get to it!

    Not to mention the West River Pathway - hiking &
    biking trail that the Town's leaders are so
    enthusiastic about! Cmon ... give us walkers and
    cyclists a convenient way to cross the river there!
    Two Bridges for the Price of One!
    Authored by: AHubbard on Thursday, August 16 2012 @ 03:52 PM GMT+4
    I like this idea. Allows for bike/pedestrian travel from putney road to the new rec fields, as well as a nice loop around the meadows. Best idea i heard all day.
    I-91 Bridge Options for Brattleboro at Thursday Meeting
    Authored by: monteverde on Thursday, August 16 2012 @ 10:16 PM GMT+4
    Since I would have to pass under in at least twice each day, the graceful arch form appeals to me the most. A little heavier looking than the current steel bridge it may be, Chris, but I would really lament yet another familiar looking landmark entirely disappearing from the "townscape".

    I guess maybe I've lived around here a little too long.