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Bids opened for Boscawen, Canterbury bridge removal

Four companies have submitted bids to remove a historic bridge between Canterbury and Boscawen.

With Canterbury selectmen in attendance, Boscawen selectmen unsealed the bids Wednesday afternoon. The four bids to remove the bridge, which is more than 100 years old, ranged from $242,000 to $481,000.

The project’s engineering consultant, Underwood Engineering, will review the bids before the towns do.

“As soon as Underwood tells us everything is good, we can review the bids, award it and work can start instantaneously,” said Craig Saltmarsh, chairman of the Boscawen Board of Selectmen. Bridge removal will hopefully be completed by summer’s end, Saltmarsh said.

“We really want to get it down,” he said. “The bridge is dangerous, and we want to see it go.”

Built over the Merrimack River in 1907, the 347-foot bridge connecting the two towns was closed to traffic in 1965. It was built by famed architect John Storrs, who also designed the Sewalls Falls Bridge in Concord, which is slated for removal.

Initial estimates pegged the cost of removing the bridge at about $400,000. Canterbury voters approved a $175,000 expenditure at town meeting, while Boscawen residents approved $200,000 for the removal. In both cases, the state Department of Transportation will reimburse $160,000 of the cost of bridge removal.

“The bids were right in the ballpark, which will allow us and Canterbury to move forward with getting the job done and getting reimbursed,” Saltmarsh said.

(Iain Wilson can be reached at 369-3313 or iwilson@cmonitor.com.)

Legacy Comments1

It is important to remove as many of the remaining old steel and iron bridges as soon as possible. They become liabilities to host communities and are considered "attractive nuisances." If people want culture and heritage, they can visit Vermont. If they want economic opportunity, the NH Advantage is where it is at. ( Perhaps federal stimulus funds should be used to remove the few remaining ones? )

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