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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A $26 million walkway over Little Bay?

Sometimes the best stories are in Saturday's paper, and you miss them. Foster's ran an editorial this Saturday questioning federal money for a local project. It's not everyday that you see people looking closely at earmarks in their own backyard:
It wasn't long ago — 2003 — that the U.S. Coast Guard expressed an interest in removing the General Sullivan Bridge "since it no longer functions in the manner originally intended and is an obstruction within the channel" (leading into and out of the Piscataqua River and Great Bay).

Then as now, substantial support existed for preserving and rehabilitating the historic landmark, not as a crossing for motor vehicles of standard weight and size, but making it instead a passage point for recreational vehicles (bicycles and the like) and pedestrians.

Obviously, something has to be done with the General Sullivan Bridge before hundreds of tons of steel, pavement and lead paint collapse into Little Bay, creating a mammoth ecological nightmare.

But $26 million?

It wasn't for naught the Coast Guard was interested in dismantling the bridge six years ago. It was an interest in getting what might become a navigational hazard out of the way.

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