In a story that affects both sides of the Connecticut River, officials announced earlier this week that the historic Charles N. Vilas Bridge connecting Walpole, NH to Bellows Falls, Vt., will likely permanently remain closed to vehicular traffic.
The bridge – which is jointly owned by both states – was closed back in March of 2009 by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation after a semi-annual inspection deemed the structure unsafe due to deteriorating concrete.
At the time of its closing, an average of 4,600 vehicles crossed the bridge on a daily basis, with numerous others crossing by foot or bicycle. Vermont has made several attempts to encourage its neighbor to address the issues, with the most recent coming in 2014.
But the project wasn’t included in the DOT’s recently released 10-year-plan, leaving those in the Green Mountain State with no foreseeable path to its reopening.
The Vilas Bridge was built in 1930 and spans 635 feet across the Connecticut River.