Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56was once a three-span, three-pier bridge became a four-span, four-pier bridge. For almost 30 years after the upgrade, freight and passengers moved across the bridge as the rail traffic slowed and ultimately ceased all together. When VAST began planning construction for the LVRT, Bridge 68 was part of Phase 1B. With the majority of the rails removed on the line, the Smuggler’s Notch Snowmobile Club was able to put a temporary decking on the bridge and use it as a route north to Franklin county. As construction drew nearer, a VTrans bridge inspection revealed structural deficiencies in the bridge resulting from 20 years without maintenance. It was promptly barricaded and closed to all traffic. It became clear that the bridge was going to need a new work plan and it was removed from the Phase 1B construction contract. Construction on Phases 1A and 1B were beginning to come to a close, and VAST began to plan for repairing Bridge 68. When the bridge was originally built, it was placed on a bend in the Lamoille. The water flows hard to the outside of the curve, wearing away against the north side of the bridge. While the 2015/16 winter didn’t see much snow, it brought a heavy ice build up to the Lamoille River, which let go with the early spring rains. The massive chunks of ice jostled with each other as they flowed down river. All that jarring and grinding of ice gouged trees and riverbanks for miles. When VAST went out to check on the bridge in the spring, one of the piers had been severely damaged by the spring ice flow. With several of the pilings broken, the pier supporting the heaviest spans was failing fast. The bridge was listing noticeably and was threatening to collapse into the river. While the bridge was already slated for repairs, the process needed to be expedited. VAST consulted with VTrans about next steps and how best to keep the bridge The bridge was listing noticeably and was threatening to COLLAPSE INTO THE RIVER 1927 Flood Destruction at Bridge 68 Summer 2016 | 23