Letter: Troubled bridge over Silver Waters

Posted 5/2/19

Before doing any work on the bridge project over Silver Creek, it is important to understand the flooding problems along the lower creek and the measures needed to solve them, rather than taking a …

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Letter: Troubled bridge over Silver Waters

Posted

Before doing any work on the bridge project over Silver Creek, it is important to understand the flooding problems along the lower creek and the measures needed to solve them, rather than taking a piece-meal approach that wastes funding as well as imposing undue hardships to the town.

The creek floods periodically to close the bridge and creates a public safety hazard that has not been addressed. The flood-prevention work on the bridge several years ago was a failure and a waste. The bridge was even flooded and closed by only a moderate storm as the work was completed. It had been repaired at the same flood-prone elevation.

This was said to be due to a bureaucratic mandate to obtain funds. The proposed rebuilding of the bridge, as recently described, would also waste funds as well as miss an opportunity for improvement. If not, it is more waste and more construction.

Silver Creek originally had a wide opening into the harbor. The damming of the creek by the railroad and Hope Street and the fill dumped in the harbor between them and along the banks to the east has caused this situation to develop. Removal of the barrier and raising of the bridge can alleviate the problem except for major hurricanes. The short length of this bridge should be at least doubled, and the roadway raised two feet.

If Sip ’n Dip was relocated across Hope Street, its site and a temporary bridge near or on the bike path could be used as a short detour during construction. Then the harbor fill could be removed. This would greatly reduce the impact on the town’s citizens and businesses.

Raising the bridge also would reduce the impact of sea-level rise, which is measured in this area as three-quarters of a foot per 100 years, and possible increased storm impact. This would give Bristol a cushion for the change.

A bonus would be a greatly enhanced view of our beautiful harbor as visitors enter the town from the north and the scene suddenly appears.   

Patrick Barosh, PhD
Bristol

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