SCOTLAND, Conn. (WTNH) — Gary Gagnon and his wife, Brenda, are among six families who were temporarily stranded after last week’s rains washed away two bridges on Brook Road.
“There’s a lady across the street who has three small children, she said, ‘I don’t have groceries or nothing. I’m not ready for this,’” Gary Gagnon said.
Susan Chace, like the Gagnons, has lived on Brook Road for more than 20 years. She never thought living between two bridges would be a problem.
“A friend brought me eggs,” said Chace, who said that friend met her at the partially collapsed bridge. “On the other side of the bridge, yeah. Cause my car was inside.”
Chace was able to walk through the partially collapsed bridge on the southern end of Brook Road to get some help, but the bridge further north was completely washed away.
After a few days of not being able to drive in or out of their neighborhood, a nearby farmer let them drive through his field.
Tuesday, a temporary bridge opened. Two ramps allow for a single lane of traffic, but it’s only open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“If I go out in the evening, I’ll have to plan on walking home from the school, which is about a half a mile down the road,” Chace said.
Scotland First Selectman Gary Greenberg said the temporary bridge will cost the town between $90,000 and $100,000 over the next three weeks. He’s working to get a more permanent temporary fix, which will be built at the southern end of the road.
Trees are being removed so the power lines can be relocated to the other side of the street so that a multi-year, temporary bridge to be installed.
Greenberg said it could cost the town as much as $375,000. But, that’s far less than the $6.5 million permanently replacing both bridges will cost. The new bridges would have to be 44 feet long, instead of 22 feet, because of the terrain and weather.
Greenberg said these bridge collapses should be a warning to other towns around the state that have older bridges.