Vol. II No. 16 8/15/2021
Reader to Reader — We Got Mail
I am pleased to see the robust discussion in Town Square regarding the Interlaken neighborhood and the Curtisville Bridge. I am in agreement with Rena, Misha, Lenore and Paul who wrote regarding the Interlaken neighborhood and bridge. Over the past 2 years I have attempted to provide resident input and raised questions regarding the work that has taken place. I have been frustrated by the inadequate response from town officials.
Following is a brief summary:
- Many years ago, when Clint Schneyer was Highway Superintendent, a Mass Highway engineer inspecting bridges on State RT 183 looked at town bridges in Interlaken. The Curtisville Bridge was condemned for vehicular traffic. I requested a copy of any reports regarding the bridges, none have been provided.
- Based on this long-ago inspection and a more recent recommendation by Foresight Engineering (though not Structural Engineers), the Sewer and Water Department deemed that the water and sewer pipes in the bridge were in grave danger of failure. I made a formal written request for a 2nd opinion. WE needed to know the integrity of the bridge to support the pipes, before any work was undertaken and the status of the bridges future determined. My request for a 2nd opinion was ignored by the S&W Department.
- So over the past year the S&W Department proceeded to design and construct, at a cost of over $300,000 to the Town, the existing pipe structure. Although permanent looking to my eye, this structure is deemed "temporary" due to being located in an historic area. S&W has promised that the structure will be removed, and the pipes returned to the bridge when it is repaired. Is this true?
Regarding the fencing, I agree it is unsightly, inconvenient, illegal (chain link) and a detriment to the neighborhood. I see no reason why it was installed and why pedestrians are prohibited. When I asked Selectman Cardillo several years ago, his answer was "for insurance reasons". Is this true?
In my opinion, before decisions are made regarding the future of the Curtisville Bridge, it is imperative that the Town get a 2nd opinion from a Structural Engineer (experienced with stone arch construction) on the integrity of the Curtisville Bridge to support pedestrian traffic as well as the utility pipes. I thank Carole and the Town Square for shining a light on this issue and hopefully holding our Town officials and Sewer and Water accountable.
Editor's note: Alan holds a BS in Environmental Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
Thank you for the cogent comments and the kind words about Stockbridge Updates. I hope now there will be a fulsome response from our Select Board.
Photo: Lionel Delevingne