Taylor Avenue bridge’s condition raises concern

Taylor Avenue Bridge

It’s not a very big bridge, in fact some people driving over it may not even realize it is one.

But the the span that crosses the brook that runs from Bartlett Pond into Cape Cod Bay was built in 1935 and, according to some White Horse Beach residents, it’s showing its age.

White Horse Beach resident Christine Bostek said concrete is breaking off the bridge. When guardrails were added, they were drilled right into that same concrete, adding to the damage. She presented her concerns to the Manomet Village Steering Committee at Thursday night’s meeting.

Bostek says she’s seen numerous dump trucks, many of which she suspects violate the bridge’s weight restrictions, traveling along Taylor Avenue. The trucks, she says, seem to have no connection with construction projects in the area.

Another concern is for children who raft or tube down the brook during the summer, directly under the bridge, she said.

The bridge will be fixed as part of the reconstruction of Taylor Avenue, which is currently scheduled to start in 2017. That’s not soon enough for steering committee member Alice Baker. “We can’t use the excuse of the reconstruction project,” to put off repairs, she said. “they are enabling the problem from now  until then.”

Baker expressed dismay no one from the town was present to hear Bostek’s concerns. Two selectmen were invited, Bostek said.

Enforcing the weight limit on the bridge would be one step to keeping it intact, several people agreed.

Planning Board member Ken Buechs noted he had a similar problem with overweight trucks using a  bridge on Bartlett Road where he lives. He recommended taking photographs of trucks crossing the bridge and providing them to the police. “You see a truck, get the license and call the cops, they will enforce it.”  Steering committee member Harry Helm agreed the weight limit on the bridge, which ranges between 7 and 15 tons depending on the type of truck, needed to be clarified.

The committee agreed to send a letter to the town expressing its concerns.

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