Bridge concerns hamper plans to build homes in New Hampshire

Overweight vehicles denied access to certain bridges

News The Rutland Herald August 21, 2007
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In the wake of the Minneapolis I-35 bridge collapse, concerns about bridge safety are disrupting plans to build homes in New Hampshire.

The McNamara family in Meriden, for example, arranged for their modular home to be delivered to their land. At the last minute, they were informed that the crane required for the delivery was too heavy to cross the bridges it needed to arrive there.

“Prior to the delivery of the house, the cranes were not able to get a permit to get out to the site because of the weight limit enforced on bridges in New Hampshire," said Morris Homes’ Mike Morris, who sold the McNamaras their home.

Morris said he never encountered such obstacles until the I-35 collapse. He said crane companies are now being denied permits to access certain bridges.

"Now, they're asking what is the weight of the crane, how many axles does it have, where is it traveling to," Morris said.

The McNamaras were able to find a route on back roads to have their home delivered, but they said it took a few days.

A Transportation Department spokesman said that permits have always been issued for overweight vehicles, but the department never allowed them to cross restricted bridges. He said the department is paying more attention to bridges, but the timing is coincidental.

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