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BRATTLEBORO – After a loud summer and fall of banging and banging along the Connecticut River, the $61.2 million Brattleboro-Hinsdale Bridge project has begun the next phase of construction.

As work continues on the new bridge from Route 119 on the New Hampshire coast in Hinsdale, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) announces that bridge work has begun on Vernon Street (Route 142) in Brattleboro.

According to a recent NHDOT news release, bridge crews from Reed & Reed, Inc. of Woolwich, Maine, recently began construction of the Vermont bridge components.

“People traveling Vernon Street/VT Route 142 should expect an increase in construction activity, but impact on the traveling public should remain minimal throughout the fall, winter and early spring as work is conducted during this phase of the The project will not be in constant conflict with road traffic,” the NHDOT said.

“Motorists should expect intermittent delays as trucks move materials and equipment in and out of the construction area. On days when longer delays are expected, temporary construction signage will be used along with flag people or uniformed officers.”

According to Reed & Reed’s website, substructure work is well underway for six of the seven piers.

This work includes cofferdams – temporary dams that create a dry working environment for bridge builders – and work with tubular piles – steel tubes used in deep foundations and driven deep into the ground to increase structural stability. They are filled with concrete.

Other work includes excavation, concrete sealing and cleaning.

Reed & Reed said they began work on the Hinsdale side where Pier 7 and the New Hampshire abutment are located. The other piers will be built in descending order toward the Vermont side of the river, where Pier 2 is the last river pier and Pier 1 is on land.

NHDOT officials say construction crews will realign a section of Route 119 in Hinsdale during the project to completely bypass the two existing bridges.

Reconstruction of Route 119 will begin approximately 600 feet south of Georges Field Road and extend 0.6 miles north and west along the new alignment, where it will connect to Route 142 in Brattleboro with a new intersection that will be approximately 900 feet south of this will be the existing intersection of Routes 5, 119 and 142 – the infamous Malfunction Junction.

The rebuilding of approximately 1,700 feet of Route 142 will occur during the 2023 construction season as part of a planned 90-day road closure and posted detour. A new boat ramp in New Hampshire will also be completed during this project.

If all goes well, the new bridge will open to traffic by October 2023, with the completion date set for October 2024 for the remainder of the project.

Because New Hampshire has jurisdiction over the Connecticut River, it is responsible for 11% of the bridge project’s costs, with Vermont contributing about 2%. The remaining 86% is borne by the federal government.