LEE -- Within two months, the town plans to install a temporary bridge to replace a damaged one the state ordered closed nearly seven months ago.
The interim span on Meadow Street over Powder Mill Brook is scheduled to be in place by mid-December, but likely sooner, according to Lee Public Works Superintendent Christopher Pompi.
"We have a deadline of Dec. 15, but [the contractor] can install it anytime," Pompi said. "The job will only take a couple of weeks to complete."
Earlier in the year, state bridge inspectors found structural problems underneath the bridge and damage to the abutment, in part caused by Tropical Storm Irene last year, town officials have said.
Until a new, permanent bridge can be built, the state has agreed to loan the town a temporary span for free with taxpayers paying for its design and installation.
Pompi noted the short-term bridge will be one lane and be able to handle the heavy truck traffic that frequents Meadow Street. He believes that an overweight truck punched the hole through the surface of the 80-foot span that has a maximum weight limit posted at 15 tons.
Meadow Street is a popular shortcut for local traffic between Route 102 in South Lee and Main Road in Tyringham via Tyringham Road in Lee.
Several Meadow Street residents who live east of the bridge have advocated for a temporary bridge to avoid taking a five-mile detour in order to travel west on Route 102.