Machia Road bridge open

Weight limit set at 5 tons

Elaine Ezerins

By Elaine Ezerins

Staff Writer

Just
The Facts

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HIGHGATE — Highgate Road Commissioner and selectboard member Joshua LaRocque warned drivers to abide by the 10,000-pound weight limit posted on the Machia Road bridge at their meeting Thursday night, otherwise the board would not hesitate to close the bridge again.

The board also received an update from Walter Krul, the director of AmCare Ambulance Services.

The Machia Road bridge was re-opened on June 9, according to the town’s website. A 10,000-pound or five-ton weight limit was set for the bridge and any violators will be fined $7,500, according to the notice.

“The selectboard spent $8,000 to reopen the bridge hopefully for the next year and a half until we can have a new bridge in place,” said Sharon Bousquet, chair of the selectboard.

The $8,000 came out of the diesel line item in the Highway Fund, according to the June 1 selectboard minutes. At the meeting, Treasurer Shelley Laroche said there was $22,000 in the diesel fuel line item not being utilized this year and preferred the money to come out of there instead of the B25 (Machia Road bridge) reserve fund.

The B25 reserve fund is set aside for the bridge’s replacement; the town is required to match five percent of a $5 million plus Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) grant to replace the bridge.

LaRocque reminded residents that no commercial vehicles should be driving over the bridge or really anything more than a 2,500-pound pick up truck, unloaded.

Bousquet said the town has already had problems with drivers not abiding the weight limits set, which is the first LaRocque said he’s heard of it. “If I see it, I will call the town guys and we will close it,” he said. “It’s that simple.”

For more on the bridge and last week’s Highgate selectboard meeting, pick up a copy of Monday’s Messenger or subscribe to our digital edition.