NEWFANE — Newfane officials are planning to meet with representatives of Vermont Emergency Management and the Agency of Natural Resources to get advice before issuing contracts to replace two bridges that were destroyed by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene.
Work has been delayed on the Hunter Brook Bridge and Lynch Bridge projects because town officials are unsure how much the Federal Emergency Management Agency will contribute to the construction costs.
Newfane officials said they have found themselves having to navigate what they believe are sometimes conflicting state and federal guidelines over some technical aspects of the project.
“The town is constantly caught between a rock and a hard place on this,” said Select Board Chairman Jon Mack. “We don’t know, at the end of the day, whether we’re going to get the necessary approvals.”
Both bridges were destroyed by Irene. A temporary bridge has been installed over Hunter Brook.
Local officials have the same concerns over the Lynch Bridge project, which has not yet been designed.
The town has a design for a new, permanent Hunter Brook span, but it’s larger than the original, and the board has delayed awarding a construction contract because of funding concerns, the Brattleboro Reformer reported.
The Select Board delayed opening bids to build a permanent replacement for the Hunter Brook Bridge until May 16. The board plans to meet state officials May 3.
“There’s a lot of determination to have a plan in place,” said Select Board member Christine Druke. “I’m going to make a prediction ... this will be the last time we postpone the bids.”
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