Works begins on Wilton bridge

WILTON – The bridge over the Souhegan River on Route 31, which provides access to Island Street and the Label Art Building, is now one-way traffic during business hours and on Monday, July 7, it will be closed to all traffic.

“We have six weeks to get it done,” project supervisor Keith Warren said. “After that it will cost the company money.”

Because Route 31 is a state road, it is a Department of Transportation project with the work contracted to T. Buck Co. of Auburn, Maine.

The town’s week-long celebration of Old Home Days will begin Aug. 16 and the big parade traditionally kicks off from Label Art, the other side of the river from Main Street.

Warren said the bridge would be open, even if there are still finishing details to do.

The project has actually been underway for some months. Sewer lines are under the bridge, held in place by hangers.

“The line has to stay where it is,” Warren said, in order to function properly “and not end up in the river. We have put in all new adjustable hangers so we can raise or lower the deck without affecting them.

They also have installed shielding under the bridge “to keep things from dropping in the river.”

In order to work under the bridge, a walkway has been constructed on the eastern end.

The contractors will “rip off the decking, jack up the bridge, and put in new bearings,” Warren said.

They will install a new sidewalk and railings. The new deck will be concrete, “but the profile will stay about the same.”