Vermont May Ask Federal Court to Intervene in Bridge Dispute with New Hampshire

Jun 2, 2016

Some Vermont officials unhappy over a standstill with New Hampshire over a long-closed, deteriorating bridge connecting both states are suggesting that a federal judge step in to fix things.

Closed since 2009, the 86-year-old Vilas Bridge over the Connecticut River was built between Walpole, New Hampshire, and Bellows Falls, Vermont.

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance said it's the last remaining concrete arch bridge of its type in the state, and put it on its annual list of structures to save in 2012.

Both states face financial constraints. New Hampshire says the bridge isn't a priority, especially when there's another one nearby. The Vilas Bridge isn't part of its 10-year transportation plan, which lawmakers passed Wednesday.

The Eagle Times reports Lamont Barnett, selectboard chairman in Rockingham, Vermont, says a federal appeal may be the next step.