Halloween’s intense rainstorm washed out a culvert on Rollin Irish Road and took out a section Mars Hollow Road itself. Both roads were temporarily closed while repairs were made and are now open.
Stormwaters also set back work on East Road Bridge #5 and piled up debris in River Street Park.
The town is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to determine the costs of repairing the damage, explained David Allerton, Milton’s public works director and town engineer.
The culvert on Rollin Irish Road “had been failing for years probably and this storm was probably the last gasp,” said Allerton. The public works department has shored up the road and it is open for now, with a full culvert replacement planned for this summer.
The culvert on Mars Hollow Road, also known as Marrs Hollow, held, possibly because the water went over the road rather than through the culvert, washing away the side of the road and collapsing the pavement.
The area which washed away has been filled with stone and the road repaved, explained Allerton. It, too, will need further repairs come construction season.
On East Road, the town is in the process of replacing two bridges. The southernmost bridge, Bridge #6, was nearly complete when the storm hit. Water flowed over the bridge, but that was expected, said Allerton. “That one we knew was going to get overtopped by water in a big rainstorm,” he said.
Water from a number of roads flows “right down where Bridge #6 is,” said Allerton.
Just 150 feet away are the railroad tracks which have only a small amount of water through, explained Allerton, causing the water to back up against the tracks.
A hydrology study done as part of the planning for the bridges showed the bridge would be topped with water in a 50-year storm. “This pretty much fit the model for a 50-year storm,” said Allerton.
Bridge #5 wasn’t as far along in the construction process as its southern neighbor. The structure was set, but backfilling was still being done. Much of the gravel being used for that backfilling was washed away.
FEMA won’t cover the losses associated with the bridge because it was a construction project, explained Allerton, but he expects that the damaged to Rollin Irish and Mars Hollow roads will be.
The public works department has also finished cleaning up River Street Park which was flooded when Green Mountain Power opened its dam. The waters left behind extensive debris.