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