CAMBRIDGE – Workers and town officials in Cambridge are continuing efforts to recover and rebuild the town’s infrastructure following the extreme storms experienced in late May. Much of the damage has been repaired, with the town now concentrating on repairing the large washout on Williamson Road and several other large projects.
According to Cambridge Road Foreman Bill Morey, the washout on Williamson Road occurred during the heavy rain and flooding around the weekend of May 25. A four-foot stone culvert that traveled deep underneath the road washed out as a result of the flash flooding, creating a massive crater across the entire length of the road and down into the Lamoille River. Morey explained that the washout measures roughly 25 feet deep, 60 feet long, and nearly 50 feet wide.
Morey also explained that while the road is still closed to all through traffic, the plans to repair the road and replace the culvert are moving ahead. The current plan is to place a large aluminum culvert in the hole that will be held down by baffles. The culvert would likely be 90 feet long, 14 feet tall, and have stone headers. The culvert will also be set up to have a natural bottom to better allow fish and other aquatic life to travel through it. He stated that the service life for the culvert and structure should be 50 to 75 years.
According to Morey once the culvert is in place several thousand yards of fill will be required to finish filling in the washout around the new structure. The span of the road over the bridge will be paved, and guardrails will run along the length of the work. The slopes along the banks near the culvert will also likely be covered in stone to help prevent erosion.
“We are hoping to start around the first of September if all the permits go through,” stated Morey via phone interview, “…we hope to have it done by mid-October.”
He went on to explain that the proper permits have been submitted to both the Agency of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers. He stated that he believes the town should be receiving the proper ANR permits in the near future and is waiting on the Army Corps of Engineers permitting. The town has also been working with FEMA on the project and is hoping that the agency will fund the project.
Bids for the replacement of the culvert have already been accepted as part of the process, but the job may have to go back out to bid before FEMA funds it.
Along with the damage to Williamson Road, the Town of Cambridge suffered extensive damages to a number of other roads during the late May flooding, including on the Upper Pleasant Valley Road, Lower Pleasant Valley Road, County Farm Road, Andrews Road, Junction Road, Plot Road, Cady Hill Road, Cambridge Glen Road, and Westman Road. However the town has been able to repair much of the damage done to these other town highways.
While many of the repairs have been made throughout the town, some work is still required to finish the recovery from the damage. According to Morey, a new culvert is also needed on County Farm Road. Work must also be done on the Lower Pleasant Valley Road in the area of Rodgers Bridge, where the stream has eaten away at the bank and is now right up to the road. The damage at this location is not easily visible and was not noticed in the days just after the flooding. The town plans to rip-rap and stone the bank to keep the stream from actually taking the road.
“We have to get this done,” explained Morey, who went on to state that the town is currently seeking the proper permitting for the work on Lower Pleasant Valley Road, “We need to get the permitting and are hoping to have it done this fall.”