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Bow’s Birchdale Road bridge reopens

  • FROM LEFT: Isabelle Clement, Rita Hodgman, Jacqueline Clement and Lefty the dog walk across the Birchdale Road bridge in Bow on Thursday, July 19, 2018, on their way to Hodgman’s house, which sustained heavy fire damage on New Year’s Day. The recently reopened bridge allows them to access the house more easily while repairs are done. Caitlin Andrews / Monitor staff

  • Isabelle Clement (front) rides her bike across the Birchdale Road bridge in Bow while Rita Hodgman, Jacqueline Clement and Lefty the dog walk on their way to Hodgman’s house, which sustained heavy fire damage on New Year’s Day, on July 19, 2018. The recently reopened bridge allows them to access the house more easily while repairs are done. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff

  • Nick Robie (left) and Shane Ess scooter across the recently reopened Birchdale Road bridge in Bow on July 19, 2018. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff

  • The recently reopened Birchdale Road bridge in Bow is shown Thursday, July 19, 2018. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff

  • The recently reopened Birchdale Road bridge in Bow is shown on July 19, 2018. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Thursday, July 19, 2018

The recent reopening of the Birchdale Road bridge in Bow couldn’t come soon enough for one woman and the family who takes care of her.

Rita Hodgman and Jacqueline Clement, along with Clement’s teenage daughter Isabelle and dog Lefty, were some of the people enjoying access to the other side of the bridge Thursday.

The bridge, which spans White Brook, recently reopened after being closed about three years because an underwater inspection of the bridge showed it had critical structural deficiencies. A ribbon cutting for the bridge was held Wednesday.

The bridge’s reopening was a welcome sight for Hodgman, whose Birchdale Road home sustained heavy fire damage after a fire broke out on New Year’s Day, causing her and the Clements – which includes Jacqueline Clement’s husband Jason – to be displaced. They are currently living at Hodgman’s son’s house, which is farther down Birchdale Road, on the other side of White Brook.

Before the bridge was repaired, Clement said, they had to drive an extra 3 miles to get from Hodgman’s house to her son’s. Now, with the bridge back, it’s about half a mile down the road, so they can walk.

“It’s great,” she said. “It makes it so much easier to work on (the house).”

Voters last year approved a $772,000 warrant article for the replacement of the bridge. According to town documents, $664,000 of the project will be paid for by state bridge aid, which would be available by fiscal year 2025.

The bridge originally had a projected Nov. 1, 2017, completion date.

Speed radar signs will be installed on each end of the bridge, according to Town Manager David Stack’s July newsletter. Speeding was one of the concerns residents had about the bridge being reopened.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)