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Bridge may be closed until ‘mule’ moves

September 18, 2011
By JOHN R. BECKER , The Leader Herald

FONDA -The Main Street bridge at Lock 12 connecting Tribes Hill and Fort Hunter has passed inspection, but the state Canal Corp. wants it to remain closed for a few more days.

The bridge has been closed since Tropical?Storm?Irene hit Aug. 28. Officials from Region 2 of the state Department of Transportation have inspected the bridge, but the state Canal Corp. has asked that it remain closed for "a few more days," Montgomery County Public Works Commissioner Paul Clayburn said.

"There was a large amount of debris around the bridge," Clayburn said. "The bridge has been inspected by DOT, but the Canal Corp. has requested that it remain closed so they can move their 'mule' because it was damaged."

The "mule" is the huge, moveable unit that contains pulleys, chains and a large motor. It is used to raise and lower the dam gates at each lock.

Canal Corp. spokesman R.W. Groneman said Friday the roadway mule is not secured and presents a danger of falling. The road itself is in good shape, he added.

"Any disturbance on the roadway could cause the mule to fall," Groneman said.

A contractor will inspect the mule today, he said.

The situation at Lock 12 is further complicated by the fact that a contractor was in the midst of a painting project, Clayburn said. Temporary traffic lights set up as part of that project will have to be reactivated or removed, Clayburn said.

John R. Becker covers Montgomery County news. He can be reached at



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