The Hump-Backed Bridge of Walnut Hill

"May the road rise up to meet you" takes on new meaning in Bethel.



 For those who have been wondering whether the Walnut Hill/ Weed Road bridge will forever be afflicted with the hill it recently acquired, the good news is no, it will not.  There are many changes afoot. 

 The bridge is next on the list of road repairs according to Andrew Morosky,  town engineer.  He explained that a new culvert was installed late last year to accommodate the ever increasing storm flows in Dibble's Brook. (A culvert is a tunnel that allows a stream to pass underneath a road.)

 “The new culvert, as planned, added five extra feet of road width where there once was no road, Morosky said.  “That, coupled with the larger size of the culvert, created the temporary hump that is there today.”

 In order to lessen the existing slope, road work will raise the existing road at the intersection of Weed Road and Walnut Hill Road, Morosky said, adding that that work would “provide a more consistent slope from Weed Road all the way to Farmview Drive.”

  “The goal of raising the road is to improve the safety for all who use it by increasing sight distances. The intersection will be less dangerous than it has been in the past.  Drivers coming out of Weed Road will be able to see further west on Walnut Hill Road and drivers on Walnut Hill Road will be able to see farther ahead in both directions, giving them more of a chance to slow down or stop if there is a problem up ahead," Morosky explained.

 The changes will benefit drivers, bicycle riders, and pedestrians, according to Morosky, who said there is additional preparation necessary before the road can be raised. “We will have to reconstruct the driveway closest to the culvert so that the homeowner ends up with a similar condition to what is there now,” Morosky stated.    

 Work is expected to begin in the next several weeks, once other high priority road and drainage projects are completed, according to Morosky, who said,  "There will be additional site restoration and a new guardrail installed before other road projects slated for this summer will begin. 

 And of course, all of that, Morosky said, is “Weather permitting."

Bill Hillman April 23, 2012 at 10:35 AM
Will have to hope this really works as planned. Will the town be replacing the cobble stones at the apron of that near driveway, west of the hump?
Brian September 30, 2012 at 03:07 AM
There are rumors floating around that the wrong pipe was ordered causing the difference in elevation. They still installed it anyways causing this problem. It seems that that "bump" will be there for good and they will have to change the elevation of the road prior to the bridge. This isn't the only bridge or issue that has taken place in town under Mr. Morosky's time here as Bethel's Town Engineer. Just look at how Payne Road near Castle Hill developed sink holes only after a few months of it being repaved.(and has yet to have been fixed correctly) Or the bridge at the corner of Plumtrees and Rockwell road, the stonewall barier has desinagrated and a traffic cone was put up where the now missing section of the barier resided. Or how the bridge at the corner of Walnut Hill and Taylor road was deemed in such bad shape by D.O.T. that the weight limit was reduced to 8 tons (total/not per axle) and warning signs had to be placed at the nearest cross roads (only two additional signs were installed and not in the correct locations) The new weight limit was never enforced any day in and day out since the weight limit reduction massive tractor trailers/busses and town plow trucks cross this bridge without a care in the world. Lastly, the pot hole riddled section of Shelter Rock Rd in front of Mekaur Park. While, I am no engineer and do not want to point fingers at anyone I for one question Mr. Morosky's true intent to the safety and well being of motorists using Bethel's roadways.


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