By Gregory J. Lamoureux
RICHFORD: Route 105 in Richford was still impassable to motorists for Monday morning commuters, but the State of Vermont is working diligently to get the artery open to both lanes of traffic, hopefully by later today.
Governor Phil Scott toured the area, as well as several other storm stricken communities this past weekend.
More than five inches of water fell in some communities, causing flash flooding and power outages on Friday.
According to local utilities, all customers within Franklin County who lost power in the storm have now had it restored. That isn’t the case with other counties. In Washington County, there were still about 265 customers without power.
In total, as of Monday morning, there were just over 1,000 customers without power statewide.
In Richford, the project is continuing, with about two dozen VTRANS workers assembling the temporary bridge. It is likely that what the state means when it says ‘temporary,’ really means several years as a new bridge is worked into the State budget.
The bridge that was destroyed in Friday’s flood had already been on VTRANS’ list of needed replacements. A patch to the bridge two years ago was intended to get a little more time out of the structure until funding could be found for a full replacement.
This may be one of the few times Vermont’s budget crisis has actually saved state taxpayers. In this case, because the State did not have the money to adequately replace the bridge when it was damaged earlier, now the Federal Government will step in for a large portion of the funding for the replacement bridge.
Workers on the site, Sunday, said the temporary bridge is likely to be opened today, or shortly thereafter.
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