The Railroad Bridge on Drakeside Road Gone

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Move Now Allows Emergency Vehicles to Pass Through

By Patrick Cronin

Hampton Union, Friday, January 8, 2010

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Vehicles traveling along Drakeside Road in Hampton pass through the supports left from the removal of the low railroad bridge Thursday.
[Rich Beauchesne photo]

The state Department of Transportation (DOT) this week removed the state-owned railroad bridge over Drakeside Road in Hampton.

Voters approved a warrant article at Town Meeting last March to petition the DOT to remove the bridge. Selectmen wanted to see the bridge taken down so the road can be made passable for emergency vehicles and crews.

Workers from a contractor hired by the DOT spent the early part of this week removing the superstructure of the bridge. As part of the project, the road was closed from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a couple of days.

While voters overwhelmingly approved the project last year, it took a while to get the state agency to get on board with it. And once the state DOT finally agreed to the project it also had to be approved by state Division of Historical Resources.

Crews removed the bridge, but retained the abutments. Concrete barriers will be placed on the ends of the tracks where the now defunct railroad line crosses this location.

Town Manager Fred Welch said the DOT plans to remove the bridge and reassemble it at one of the state trails in the northern part of the state.

The state's Division of Historical Resources asked officials to contact Department of Resource and Economic Development and snowmobile clubs in the area to see if there was any interest in using some of the bridge parts to extend winter trails in northern New Hampshire.

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