To the Editor:

Southbury Public Works closed the gravel portion of Jeremy Swamp Road road without consent of the Board of Selectmen.

The director of Public Works requested an engineering assessment to re-open this road. He went to a local engineering firm at a cost of $17,000, but they outsourced it to Luchs, a Meriden-based firm. The Public Works director did not document the requirements, rather he verbally dictated requirements which resulted in a $750,000 cost submittal and the destruction of a historic stone arch bridge.

This entire process and outcome did not meet the town’s objective. One selectman said that a second opinion was required.

Another resident and I, both engineers, volunteered our time and expertise to propose a low-cost technical solution, which was submitted to the BOS. It includes preservation of the stone arch bridge by installing a pressure relief plate over the stone arch involving a custom-made steel plate.

A subsequent review of the entire road plan with another local engineering firm reveals that an even simpler approach is available by purchasing pre-engineered, structurally approved protective bridge sections.

The entire cost to re-open this road is a small fraction of the cost that Public Works submitted to the BOS.

It is now being requested that the BOS get that second opinion to re-open Jeremy Swamp Road, including the preservation of the historic stone arch bridge.


Paul von Hardenberg


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