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ARLINGTON — A scoping study to determine the future of the historic Benedict Crossing Bridge in Arlington is now underway, Arlington Town Administrator Nick Zaiac informed the Select Board at its monthly meeting Monday evening.

The single-lane wooden bridge that connects Vermont Route 313 and River Road, just west of Vermont Route 7A, has been closed to all vehicle and pedestrian travel since November 2020. Shortly before the Select Board voted to close the bridge, the Vermont Agency of Transportation rated the bridge’s condition to be “imminent failure” due to rotting wooden beams.

The study was awarded to the lone bidder, MSK Engineering, for $104,600 at the Select Board’s meeting in December of 2022. Zaiac noted at the time that conducting the study would meet state and grant requirements that would ease the financial burden to the town.

“The study is necessary to allow for seed funding on the final build of the project,” Zaiac told the Journal. “Because it’s historical, it requires a thorough analysis before it’s eligible for state funding.”

The hope is to find solutions that would both preserve the historically and architecturally significant bridge while resuming its functional purpose. VTrans lists the bridge as being built in 1943, but speculation at previous board meetings was that most elements of the bridge are significantly more aged.

“The goal is to keep this historic bridge true to its current form, and do a repair rather than a wholesale replace,” Zaiac said. “If there is not a path forward to repair it, they’ll provide us with a plan to replace it.”

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Zaiac said that the initial phase of MSK Engineering’s study was done, which was to evaluate the impact on the surrounding wetlands. He said the study is on track to be completed by the end of the summer.


• Zaiac briefed the Select Board on the sidewalk project that will connect the center of Town to Arlington Recreation Park. Construction on the sidewalk that will run from Town Hall to just past the Chem Clean property at 4095 Route 7A is on track for construction to begin in the summer of 2024.

Zaiac added that he is actively soliciting ideas from the board and residents for future projects that will improve bike and pedestrian access and safety.

• Zaiac said the improvements to the playground at Arlington Recreation Park are almost ready to begin. Bids are currently being accepted and will be awarded at a coming meeting, he said.

“The contract, along with some of our staff — and myself — will build it all,” he said. “The playground is on track to be installed this summer. The equipment is on hand.”

Tory Rich can be reached at


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