In an update at Wednesday night’s selectboard meeting, Murphy told the board that the bridge will need to be raised by five feet on one side, and two feet on the other. Murphy also said the state would not require a permit to be issued for the work to be completed. The work will be completed within a year, according to Murphy, using jacks to reset the bridge at a proper elevation.
“If we don’t do this, FEMA would not make flood insurance available to property owners in the village,” said Murphy. “Their theory is that the floodwater will hit the bridge and back up into the village. It’s absurd but we can’t fight city hall on this,” continued Murphy.
The town has been in possession of the bridge since June 4, 2013, but did not receive a permit from the town’s development review board beforehand. Three weeks ago, the DRB granted a retroactive conditional use permit for the bridge, with four possible conditions attached to it. One of these four conditions would need to be met by the town, based upon a review of the bridge and hydrologic and hydraulic analyses by Agency of Natural Resources Flood Plain Manager Josh Carvajal.
According to the DRB’s decision, if Carvajal determined there was a rise in the base flood elevation at the bridge’s location, then it would need to be raised to an appropriate height within one year to make the permit permanent. Murphy was not specific as to what side of the bridge would be raised five feet, and which would be raised two feet.