Old Milford bridge coming down

MILFORD – The de­funct iron bridge known as the Green Bridge is scheduled to be demol­ished during the first week in August.

The bridge, which spans the Souhegan River and once linked North River Road with Route 101 and 101A, was replaced by the Veterans Memorial Bridge about 10 years ago. Last sum­mer the state ordered the town to bar the Green Bridge to pedestrians and bicycles, saying it could fall into the river.

Work will begin Aug. 3, when contractor George Cairns will cut trees, create a temporary road and do other preliminary work.

"The game plan" said Milford Department of Works Director Rick Riendeau, is to pull the bridge toward the North River Road side of the river, cut it up with big hydraulic sheers and take it away.

On July 14 Cairns’ work­ers were scheduled to re­move the bridge’s historic plaque.

This section of Milford has long been known as Jones Crossing, and it is said that Gen. John Stark crossed at this shallow part of the river in 1777. The first bridges were a series of foot bridges followed by a single truss-covered bridge that burned in 1910. The Green Bridge was its re­placement, and in 1956 it underwent extensive repairs, according to the town history.

After the Green Bridge has been taken down Cairns will begin work on the Jennison Road bridge.

That bridge closed in 2011 after the state noti­fied the town that its large metal culverts through Hartshorn Brook could collapse. The town built a temporary bridge.

The state is sharing the cost of both bridge proj­ects, paying 80 percent.

The failed bridge is a set of twin corrugated steel culverts, pipes that are 51/2 feet in diameter. Such culverts are com­monly used to allow roads to cross small streams and are classified as bridges by the state Department of Transportation.

Two years ago Rein­deau told selectmen that several of the town’s 19 bridges are red-listed, meaning the state in­spects them every year, instead of every two years.